MONSTER: THE JEFFREY DAHMER STORY. (2022) A NETFLIX SERIES REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.

DAHMER: THE JEFFREY DAHMER STORY. (2022) CREATED BY RYAN MURPHY AND IAN BRENNAN.
STARRING EVAN PETERS, NIECY NASH, RICHARD JENKINS, MOLLY RINGWALD, MICHAEL LEARNED AND PENELOPE ANN MILLER.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Set your faces to stunned admiration, people, because this is the best piece of television I’ve seen all year, and it’s been a good year for television. It’s the Jeffrey Dahmer story in series form, and it’s a terrific achievement on the part of Ryan everything he touches turns to gold Murphy and his screen-writing team.

The acting is superb, the story-telling is the right mix of the gruesome and the sympathetic, the era of the early ‘Nineties is perfectly re-created and Evan Peters as the serial killer is just so good as the murderer with the adorably cute grin and occasional quirky sense of black humour.

This is the only Netflix series I’ve seen so far that I’ve been seriously tempted to re-watch again from the beginning as soon as it ended. I’m actually sad that I’m not watching it any more, that’s how compelling it is.

Ready for some plot now? ‘Course you are, lol. The past is expertly blended in with the present as we see Jeffrey Dahmer growing up as a shy, awkward, somewhat weird lonely kid from Milwaukee who doesn’t really care about school or making friends or getting a head start in life.

His home-life is what one might delicately refer to as a shit-show. His mother Joyce doesn’t seem to want to be married with children; she pops pills, threatens suicide constantly and does everything in her power to be mentally if not physically absent from her husband and Jeff.

She screams and throws things and brandishes a knife at her husband in front of a traumatised Jeffrey, and she finally walks out on her family, taking her other child with her, when Jeff is about eighteen. Jeff misses her, crazy and out-of-control as she is, and takes to drinking heavily and mooning round the house, aimless and depressed, in her absence.

Richard Jenkins as the father, Lionel Dahmer, is superb. He’s the person who inadvertently sparks off Jeff’s interest in dissecting body parts. In Jeff’s youth, his father shows him how to cut up the roadkill they find on their car journeys together. If he had the slightest idea where that was going to lead to, he might have thought twice about involving his son in such a gory activity.

Lionel’s marriage to Joyce is in a terrible state. He walks out on Joyce a lot during Jeff’s childhood because of Joyce’s erratic behaviour, and is already married to the kindly and supportive Shari (played by the marvellous Molly Ringwald) by the time Joyce walks out on the Dahmer family for good.

Dad really, really loves his gormless-acting son, the golden-haired Jeffrey, and is genuinely concerned about the adult Jeff’s burgeoning alcoholism, his almost complete lack of a work ethic and seeming inability to get on with people and make friends.

He pushes Jeff into a community college and then, when that fails, into the army. When that fails too, it’s a case of ‘You’re moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air!’ For auntie and uncle, read Grandma; he moves in with his grandma, Lionel’s elderly mum, in West Allis, Wisconsin, after college and the US Army have both bombed, and terrorizes her with his strange behaviour.

Grandma is a quiet, God-fearing Church-going woman, and Jeffrey’s behaviour quickly becomes unacceptable to her. His alcoholism, compulsive lying and swearing, his occasional outbursts of violence, and, worst of all, the constant parade of young black or Latino men he brings back home with him at night to do God-knows-what-with. She’s deeply uncomfortable about what this last thing might say about her beloved grandson’s sexuality.

When Grandma interferes with what he’s trying to do with these men (drug, kill, dissect and even preserve bits of them), Jeffrey gets angry and there’s a moment there when I genuinely fear for Grandma’s life. You’ll literally never believe who plays her; Michael Learned, who once upon a time used to portray the mother in a little-known American television programme called THE WALTONS

Between 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer kills and dismembers seventeen mostly black young men and boys. He commits necrophilia and cannibalism and preserves a number of body parts for his own amusements.

He seems to prefer to have sex with dead or incapacitated males, as he doesn’t like his sexual partners to move around too much or take the initiative. He gets a bad reputation around the gay bathhouses for being a man who drugs and rapes his partners.

Niecy WHEN THEY SEE US Nash is fabulous as Glenda Cleveland, the black single mother living next door to Jeffrey Dahmer in the Oxford Apartments, his last address before his imprisonment. Can you imagine living next door to him? He’s the original Neighbour from Hell.

Through the vent that connects their two apartments, she hears the fighting and shouting as Dahmer subdues his victims, and the sawing and hammering noises he makes as he cuts them up. She also smells the foul odours of the decomposing bodies.

The police don’t come out smelling of roses in this case. Glenda calls them numerous times to report the highly suspicious noises and stench coming from Jeff’s apartment, but Jeff just trots out the old ‘Oh, I left out some meat and it went bad’ excuse and the cops just thank him and apologise for disturbing his evening…!

The cops really mess up when a young Laotian boy, Konerak Sinthasomphone, Dahmer’s youngest victim, is trying desperately to escape Jeff’s clutches and very nearly makes it. Jeff turns up and is so convincing in his assertions that Konerak is his ‘boyfriend’ that the police actually return the young man to Dahmer’s custody, leaving a horrified Glenda looking on, barely able to believe their stupidity, and also their willingness to accept the word of a white man over that of anyone black or Asian or Hispanic.

This is such a good television series; I honestly can’t commend it enough. Well done to Ryan Murphy and his team. I can’t wait to see who they’re giving the ‘magic treatment’ to next…!

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Stops-Later-Book-ebook/dp/B091J75WNB/

THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL. (2021) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL. (2021) DIRECTED BY STEFANO MORDINI. INSPIRED BY THE BOOK BY EDOARDO ALBINATI. STARRING BENEDETTA PORCAROLI AND FEDERICA TORCHETTI.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Wow. This based-on-a-true-story Italian language film set in the mid-Seventies is a really grim watch. For the first hour and a quarter, say, it’s just a mish-mash of a story about the most awful privileged rich white boys you could ever have the misfortune to meet, and how they practically get away with murder in their exclusive Catholic school for rich boys, which is located in Rome.

The sense of privilege and entitlement just radiates off these late-teenage boys like the stink of rotten fish, with heartfelt apologies to the poor fish, who can’t help it. These boys treat women like possessions, to be used, abused and then tossed aside like so much rubbish. It’s horrible to watch.

Then, when they get in any trouble, Mummy and Daddy, who are filthy rich, bale them out and there are never any consequences for their wrongdoings, unless you count the odd slap from a rich father when he loses patience with the little scut he calls sonny boy.

We are told by the narrator, Edoardo Albinati, that consequences for misbehaviour were so randomly applied that the boys chose to go ahead and do exactly what they wanted to do and just take their come-uppance if- and when- it ever arrived.

These rich boys have sex willy-nilly with their friends’ mothers and sisters, all of whom are inter-changeable gorgeous European women with the long dark hair and terrific bone structure. The boys are brought up thinking that the world and everything in it, including the women, is theirs for the taking. Sort of like a bunch of mini-Scarfaces. If no-one ever tells them any different, how are they meant to know right from wrong? The parents and the titular Catholic school are jointly at fault here.

The film is confusing as hell, jumping between the points of view of various boys who all look the same, and it’s divided up into equally confusing ‘time chapters’ such as ‘six months earlier’ to ‘130 hours earlier.’ I mean, what the hell…? It was difficult to make out, not only which boy was which, but which female they were f**king was which. Was it someone’s mum, someone’s sister or someone’s bloody granny? Who knows?

Anyway, the last half hour of the film sees the crime happening, the true-life crime from 1975 to which the whole movie is leading up, the crime that became known as the Circeo Massacre. In September of that year, two beautiful unsuspecting young Italian students, Donatella and Rosaria, are lured to a fabulous seaside villa by two of the boys from the school.

Once there, they are horribly raped, beaten, bullied, humiliated, taunted and tortured by the two boys, who are later joined by another guy whose father apparently owns the villa they’re using to commit their nasty crimes in. The third guy is supposed to be just out of prison as well. Such nice company they keep, right?

Angelo Izzo, Andrea Ghira and Gianni Guido are the mens’ names, though I use the word ‘men’ ironically. They’re not men. They’re cowardly little bully boys who use their superior physical strength to intimidate and frighten defenceless women. Real men don’t seem to feel the need to prove to themselves and their friends that they’re tougher than women or even other men.

I don’t know how any of them expected to get away with it. It’s probably that awful confidence they have in them that makes them feel that there is no price to pay when you’re a rich handsome young guy and your dad can buy off the police. And the school.

One of the girls will be dead after their torturous ordeal, the other as good as. And all because a bunch of lads developed toxic masculinity in the environment that more or less demanded it of its young men. Violence is what is expected of the boys in this environment, the narrator tells us. To be a man is to be violent.

And was justice done, in the end? Sadly, only partially. One of the perpetrators went on to kill two more women after he was released from prison for his part in the Circeo Massacre. As good a candidate for Throwing Away the Key as I’ve ever come across.

Apparently the Italian carabinieri were not exactly ruthless in pursuit of justice for these two lovely young women. Were palms greased, as they undoubtedly had been at the school? I don’t know. One good thing came out of this whole convoluted mess, and that was that Italian law finally allowed that rape was a crime against the person, and not just an outrage against public morality.

Public morality? One wonders how the Italians had been used to prosecuting rape cases in the past. Did a ton of perpetrators walk free? Don’t tell Donatella Colasanti that rape is not a crime against the person. That’s exactly what it is; a crime against the person, and the person’s body, mind and spirit, a crime against the person’s very soul and psyche. Never mind your public morality.

Is this a good film? I don’t even know. Turn to Netflix and see for yourself, but be warned: as I said at the start, it’s a grim watch.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:

Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

THE POWER. (2021) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

THE POWER. (2021) WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY CORINNA FAITH.
STARRING ROSE WILLIAMS, EMMA RIGBY, THEO BARKLEM-BIGGS AND DIVEEN HENRY.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I saw this British supernatural horror film on Shudder last night and was reasonably impressed by it. It’s set in the early 1970s in London, during a period of frequent power outages caused by a miners’ strike. I sympathise with this situation very much, as we here in Ireland are apparently facing something similar this coming winter due to the energy shortage-slash-crisis.

I’m fully expecting our government at some stage to suggest that we all climb into big cardboard boxes this winter and hibernate till Spring, FATHER TED-style, to keep costs down. At this stage, after soaring energy bills and the government’s seeming inability to lift a finger to stop it, I literally wouldn’t be surprised.

Anyway, it’s on the night of one such power outage that a pretty young trainee nurse called Val does her first night shift in the East London Royal Infirmary where she hopes to work, if she gets through her probationary period. She’s already pissed off the hard-ass Matron and the spooky and unpopular night shift is her just desserts, lol.

The hospital seems mostly empty as a lot of patients have, I think, been moved to another hospital for the night while the power’s off. Doesn’t that sound like a ridiculous amount of trouble, if not downright unfeasible? Anyway, there’s still a few patients and staff remaining, and the janitor, a sleazebag called Neville, so Val won’t be entirely on her own.

She seems to spend most of her night shift wandering round the darkest, scariest parts of the hospital, including the basement and furnace room, looking for the charts requested by the spiteful and bitchy Nurse Babs.

Babs remembers Val from their past life when they both went to school together, but Babs was a regular schoolgirl and Val was one of the povvos from the local orphanage. It sounds like Babs went out of her way to make Val’s life worse than it already was.

As Val wanders around the dark lonely hospital with no company other than her trusty Florence Nightingale-style lantern, she becomes ever more conscious of the fact that she’s being stalked by an unseen presence. It touches her, pulls her this way and that, and generally puts the fear of God in her.

The other staff don’t believe her when she tells them. Her reputation for ‘telling lies’ about people, accusing them ‘falsely’ of things, has preceded her, they tell her. A very convincing display of demonic possession from Val persuades them that there might just be something to what she’s trying to tell them after all.

The problem with this hospital is that it’s shrouded in mysteries, secrets and lies. There have been abuses committed, and abuses covered up and swept under the carpet. Women and girls have been abused, then threatened and very effectively silenced. The perpetrators are whom the perpetrators normally are, rich white males whom no-one would dare to question or attempt to silence.

This bit reminds me that Jimmy Savile was at this time roaming freely through the hospitals where he served as a volunteer porter and hospital visitor- including Broadmoor- and committing the most appalling abuses which were going completely unchecked. He was Jimmy Savile, after all. Why would anyone question the nation’s most celebrated television star…?

So, the question now is, who is trying to attract Nurse Val’s attention and what is the message they’re attempting to get her to understand? And will Val be up to the task, or will the rich white males succeed in silencing her and all the other voices around her clamouring to be heard? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out for yourselves, folks…

I’ll admit I was quite bored for a lot of the running-round-the-hospital-in-the-dark bits. Plus, the darkness itself makes it hard to see what’s actually going on at times, which is unfortunate. It’s still an interesting one-off watch, though, with a strong message, and I liked the ending, so it’s all good.

Well, I suppose it’s time to get into my cardboard box now for the winter. I’ve told my sister about it, I’ve cancelled the milk and the newspapers, I’ve done a wee and I’ve packed my sandwiches and Thermos flask. See you all next Spring…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:

Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

UNITED 93. (2006) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

UNITED 93. (2006) WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY PAUL GREENGRASS.
STARRING CHEYENNE JACKSON, CHRISTIAN CLEMENSON, DAVID ALAN BASCHE, PETER HERMANN AND BEN SLINEY AS HIMSELF.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

‘Let’s roll…’

What with all the extensive news coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s recent untimely(!) death at the age of one hundred and forty-seven, I actually forgot about this year’s anniversary of 9/11 until the day itself.

I’ll be kind and I won’t tell you again about how I was breaking up with a long-term boyfriend at that time and I equated the collapse of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre with the breakdown of the relationship. Hey, whaddya know, it just slipped out there for about the millionth time…!

Anyway, once I remembered what day it was, I settled down and watched UNITED 93 on Netflix. It’s an excellent and very moving docudrama thriller movie written and directed by British director, producer, screenwriter and former journalist Paul Greengrass. It mostly received rave reviews on its release, and was the first film to directly address the terrible disaster that befell the American people on the eleventh of September, 2001.

That was the day that Al-Qaeda terrorists, members of the organisation started by Osama Bin Laden in 1988, hijacked four American planes and piloted them, in three cases successfully, into various landmarks of U.S. power; the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in Manhattan and the Pentagon. These were all suicide missions.

United Airlines 93 never reached its intended destination, probably the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, the meeting place of the United States congress. This is because brave passengers and crew members, who realised what was happening, were determined that the hijackers would never reach their intended target.

The story opens on what was meant to be just another beautiful sunny September day, full of promise and laughter and light, in New York. Air traffic controllers on the ground chat and joke with each other as they go about their daily business. Almost agonisingly slowly, it becomes clear to them that today is not going to be just another ordinary day at work.

Three airplanes have been hijacked by terrorists. Shortly afterwards, each of these three planes crash into their intended targets, killing everyone on board. First the North Tower of the World Trade Centre is hit, then the South Tower, then the Pentagon. By this stage, it’s obvious there’s a pattern appearing, and the United States of America, the most powerful country in the world, is under attack by terrorists…

We see the passengers and crew climbing aboard the United 93 airplane, all laughing and chatting away happily enough. One flight attendants talks hopefully about giving up the job soon in order to spend more time with her husband and children. The four hijackers are an-board now too, and are anxious and visibly nervy and sweating in their seats.

They almost miss their cue due to nervousness. When the hijacking starts, it’s a bit messy. Someone gets killed- an innocent passenger- and the whole thing gets frantic. Two hi-jackers are holed up in the cockpit, trying to fly the plane as per the lessons they’ve been given in training for this ‘holy’ mission. Two others, screaming threats in a foreign language and brandishing their fake bomb and their knives, are out in the body of the plane, trying to subdue the frightened passengers.

Here’s the point where the passengers start saying goodbye to their loved ones via the plane telephone and maybe mobile phones. It’s heart-breaking to hear. A lady tells her son or daughter where her Last Will and Testament is stored. Another woman passes her phone to a terrified young girl and tells her gently to phone her family.

Some of the passengers hear from their families on the phone about the shocking fates of the other three planes. Gradually, they work out that the hi-jackers on board have no intention of returning them safely to the airport like they’ve promised. They’re going to be crashed into yet another American landmark for the ‘glorification of Allah.’

Well, the passengers aren’t having it. They may not be able to save themselves, but they’ll certainly stop these four terrorists from achieving their target and floating off up to heaven to live in Allah’s palace for all eternity. It’s time to take stock of what they have on board the plane that can be used as weapons against the terrorists.

Their revolt, even though they’ve had hardly any time to organise it, is ridiculously brave. They fight the terrorists for control of the plane and, in the event that they manage to breach the cockpit using a steel drinks trolley as a battering ram, they’ve even selected one of the passengers, a former pilot, to fly the plane for them.

Those poor frightened people. I reckon they figured, well, we’re going to die anyway, so we might as well do it thwarting these murdering bastards, excuse my language. Thirty-three passengers, seven crew and four terrorists died in the ensuing crash in a field in Pennsylvania. It shows you what the human spirit is capable of when its back is to the wall.

UNITED 93 is included on a list of ‘Great Films too Painful to Watch Twice.’ You should definitely watch it at least once. Even though we know the tragic ending, it’s still filled with the most awful tension and suspense. The acting is realistic and the dialogue painfully believable.

Just to add that Ben Sliney of Air Traffic Control down on the ground plays himself, and the funny thing- well, I don’t know if it’s truly funny or not, or if it’s just ironic or even tragic- is that today is his first day in his new job. (He was the Federal Aviation Administration National Operations Manager, responsible for shutting down U.S. airspace in the aftermath of the attacks.) It sure gives a new meaning to the traditional wife-to-husband greeting when he comes home for his dinner at 5 o’clock; ‘Hi honey, anything happen at work today…?’

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:

Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

ALISON’S BIRTHDAY. (1981) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

ALISON’S BIRTHDAY. (1981) AN AUSTRALIAN FOLK HORROR FILM WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY IAN COUGHLAN. PRODUCED BY DAVID HANNAY.
STARRING JOANNE SAMUEL, LOU BROWN, BUNNEY BROOKE, JOHN BLUTHAL, VINCENT BALL AND BRIAN WENZEL.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I watched this Australian folk horror film on Shudder at the weekend for the first time and I really liked it, although it wasn’t too difficult to work out the plot, based on the information that we’re given in the first scenes when the titular Alison and her school mates ‘mess about’ on a Ouija board after school.

In the first place, you do not ‘mess about’ on Ouija boards; they are much too dangerous for that and should be taken seriously. Secondly, if we’ve learned anything from every horror movie that ever featured a Ouija board as its means of communicating with the ‘other side,’ it’s that when you open that door to the other dimension for someone to step through, it may not always be your sweet old deceased granny or your childhood pet who does so. It could be a raging demon or a malevolent spirit who’s thrilled with the chance to be back in the world again.

In Alison’s case, she gets a deadly warning from her dead father; her parents died in a car accident when she was a child. She’s been brought up by her Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Dean. The message involves a certain birthday, and, as I said, a deadly warning concerning same. The Ouija board session has serious enough consequences for Alison to never fully be able to put the warning to the back of her mind…

Jump forward nearly three years later, and Alison and her boyfriend Pete are motoring to Aunt Jenny and Uncle Dean’s house in the country for Alison’s nineteenth birthday celebrations. Birthday, you say? But wasn’t there something about a birthday, and a warning, or something…? You’re right. There was…

Auntie and Uncle are a bit dismayed to see that Alison and Pete are practically joined at the hip. It seems that whatever they have planned for Alison, they’ve reckoned without an ultra-protective boyfriend who genuinely only has Alison’s best interests at heart.

How to get rid of him without arousing Alison’s suspicions? How to do the thing they’ve lured Alison here for without arousing his…? They seem like a resourceful couple, dearest Auntie and Uncle. (They remind me of Roz and Brother in the brilliant 1976 supernatural horror film, BURNT OFFERINGS). I’m sure they’ll rig up something…

Two horror movie tropes of great interest here; firstly, the shocking presence of a one-hundred-and-three-year-old woman in a bedroom at the top of the house, whom Alison’s Auntie and Uncle have the cheek to tell her is a granny of hers she’s just forgotten. You don’t just forget you have a living granny. The nerve…

Secondly, there’s a wild, overblown space beyond the end of Auntie and Uncle’s back garden filled with old standing stones that you immediately understand will figure in whatever ghoulish fate Alison’s relatives have in store for her.

Standing stones rock, if you’ll excuse the pun, associated as they are with ancient runes and ancient rites and other ancient things that may or may not begin with ‘r.’ Watch NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1957) for a truly cracking example of same.

Australia is such a mystical, mysterious country, isn’t it? It has its indigenous ghosts and spirits and mythical creatures, and so much open, untamed space that you could well imagine strange, wild things happening there.

The dreamy, atmospheric PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (1975) is a fantastic example of Australian mystery/horror cinema, but even modern Aussie horror films like WOLF CREEK (2005) and WOLF CREEK (2013), both starring John Jarratt who, coincidentally, was also in PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, also compellingly feature treacherous Australian landscapes, and not always treacherous for their wild animals and legendary ghosts, either. Sometimes, it’s the people you have to look out for, eh, Mick…?

WALKABOUT (1971), starring Jenny Agutter of THE RAILWAY CHILDREN fame, is another film which, while more survival and adventure than horror, showcases the wild barrenness and dangerous beauty of the magnificent, but unforgiving to the uninitiated, Australian Outback.

Even A CRY IN THE DARK (1988), probably better known as ‘The Dingo took my Baby’ film, features the massive primeval sandstone formation known as Ayers Rock, a place where you could well imagine bad things might happen…

I was pleased to see Brian Wenzel from A COUNTRY PRACTICE, the popular Australian soap opera, turn up at Alison’s house as a middle-aged copper. Who did he play in A COUNTRY PRACTICE…? Oh, a middle-aged copper, Sgt. Frank Gilroy.

He was married to Shirley and his daughter Vicki was a vet, remember? I loved A COUNTRY PRACTICE, which ran from 1981 to 1993. It’d still be on today if it hadn’t been elbowed out by NEIGHBOURS, grumble grumble.

Anyway, ALISON’S BIRTHDAY is interesting straightaway for being both Australian and cast in the folk horror mould. The opening scene, with the schoolgirls and the Ouija board, is not quite as good as the opening five minutes of THE APPOINTMENT (1981), but it’s still pretty good.

THE APPOINTMENT, by the way, is a British supernatural horror film starring Edward THE EQUALISER Woodward, who also appeared as the ill-fated Sergeant Neil Howie in the Mammy and Daddy of all the folk horror films, THE WICKER MAN (1973).

Other English folk horror films of note include THE WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968), starring Vincent Price, and BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW (1971), which is the film to watch if you’ve ever sat down and actively thought, Eeeeeeh, I wonder what Frank Spencer’s missus Betty would be like if she were in a folk horror film, attending an orgy as a dead sexy imp of Satan’s…? This fillum answers that question.

I think I’ve imparted enough of my wisdomness to you lot for today, lol. I’d best be off now, anyway. It’s time to keep my appointment with the Six o’Clock News and a baked potato…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Stops-Later-Book-ebook/dp/B091J75WNB/

 
 

MIDNIGHT EXPRESS. (1978) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

MIDNIGHT EXPRESS. (1978) DIRECTED BY ALAN PARKER. SCRENPLAY BY OLIVER STONE. BASED ON THE BOOK OF THE SAME NAME BY BILLY HAYES.
STARRING BRAD DAVIS, JOHN HURT, RANDY QUAID, NORBERT WEISSER, IRENE MIRACLE, BO HOPKINS, MIKE KELLIN AND PAUL L. SMITH.
MUSIC BY GIORGIO MORODER.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I’ve always thought this prison drama based on a true story was an absolutely cracking film, and I still do, but it’s regarded by many as an exercise in racism and hate for its diabolical portrayal of Turkey and the Turkish people. The prison guards are seen as sadistic, lazy, inefficient brutes and the supposed upholders of the law as ignorant, prejudiced and corrupt beyond anything you can imagine.

Also, some of the most eye-popping incidents in the film, which I probably shouldn’t mention for fear of spoilers, apparently never happened, and were added by the film-makers for dramatic effect. That might affect the way you see the film when you’re reflecting on it afterwards.

The real Billy Hayes, who penned the book on which this film is based, was disappointed by the portrayal of Turkish people in the film and eventually, I believe, apologised for it to the Turkish nation.

Having said that, it’s still a brilliant and iconic movie, and it catapulted the lead actor, Brad Davis, into international stardom, which was good for him. Everyone in the film gives a sterling performance, and there’s a fantastic electronic score by Giorgio Moroder. (Together in Electric Dreams, anyone…?)

The film tells the story of Billy Hayes, an American college student who, in 1970, is arrested at a Turkish airport with 2kg of hashish strapped to his chest. Don’t worry, folks! We’re not dealing with a hardened drugs kingpin here. ‘I wuz only gonna sell it to my friends.’ Oh well, that’s all right, then.

The Turkish guards are coming down heavy on drugs offenders, however, and Billy gets thrown in prison for four years, a sentence later changed to something much worse, for his trouble.

The prison is so horrific, and Brad Davis as Billy so handsome and personable, that you’d very quickly forget that he wasn’t put there unjustly; there’s been no miscarriage of justice here. He has actually committed a crime here. And, even though the drug is hash and not heroin, it still might have ended up bringing untold misery to the families of the college kids to whom he sold it.

Anyway, back to the horrific prison. Conditions are awful, and the savage brutality of the Turkish guards and their ‘trusties’ has to be seen to be believed. Hamidou, the gigantic head guard, is a veritable monster, the kind who’ll grind your bones to make his bread.

On Billy’s first night under his care, Hamidou rapes him and savagely beats him for stealing a blanket. Poor Billy! He just can’t stop getting into trouble. Paul. L. Smith, an American-Israeli actor, is superb as the sadist with the two small sons whom he allows to witness his horrendous beating of four young boys. I wonder what a guy like that would be like as a husband and father. Don’t tell me there wouldn’t be violence at home behind closed doors…

Whenever Hamidou heaves on stage, practically seething with anger and striding purposely towards the inmates with his big plank of wood (for beating!) in his hand, you just know someone’s gonna be in for a terrible whuppin’…

Rifki, the guards’ trusty, or favoured prisoner, is sly, slimy, self-serving and a terrible snitch (all the s’s!), and Billy and his friends positively loathe him. Billy has formed a little sort of clique with another American, Randy Quaid as Jimmy, John Hurt as Max the Englishman and the German actor Nobert Weisser as Erich.

Jimmy is a crazy hothead who keeps getting beaten half to death for his ill-advised escape attempts. Max is a fragile drug addict who loves his cat, and Erich is a pragmatic German who would like to have sex with Billy but Billy isn’t quite ready to cross that final barrier between his old life in America, when he had a pretty blonde girlfriend called Susan, and his new sexless one in a men’s prison in Turkey.

I love the performance given by Mike Kellin as Billy’s Dad, who has been utterly destroyed by his son’s incarceration. He’s such a good dad and Billy himself is in bits for having put his old man to the trouble and expense of flying over from the United States to Turkey to see his son and consult with Billy’s lawyers.

I always cry when Billy and his dad cry, it’s just too sad! Dad never seems to blame Billy for the whole thing, instead venting his vitriol on the head guard Hamidou, who doesn’t give two figs.

I also love Ahmet, the perfect-English-speaker in the insane asylum played by English character actor Peter Jeffrey, and all his gobbledy-gook about ‘bad machines.’

Irene Miracle as Billy’s girlfriend Susan is good too, visiting Billy in all her clean unsulliedness when he looks like he’s been dragged backwards through the seven circles of Hell. That scene where Billy begs her to take off her top so he can see and touch her breasts through the glass is sad. Very sad. Look what he’s come to, it’s saying to us.

Other stand-out scenes include the tongue-biting-out one, Billy’s speech from the docks in which he calls all Turkish people ‘pigs’ and the scene in which Hamidou, the feared head of the prison, accidentally hangs himself up on his own coat hook. It’s a real ‘ouch!’ moment.

Brad Davis turns in a stunning not-quite-debut performance as Billy Hayes. It’s such a good sympathetic performance that, as I mentioned before, you tend to forget all about the crime that puts him in prison and just notice how bravely stoic he’s being in confinement and how awful the guards are who are keeping him there.

It’s still a genuinely good, exciting and nail-bitingly tense film, though I daresay it did for the Turkish tourist industry what JAWS did for sea-swimming. Over and out…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Stops-Later-Book-ebook/dp/B091J75WNB/
    

VAMPIRES SUCK. (2010) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

VAMPIRES SUCK. (2010) DIRECTED BY JASON FRIEDBERG AND AARON SELTZER.
STARRING JENN PROSKE, MATT LANTER, CHRISTOPHER N. RIGGI AND KEN JEONG.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Yee-ikes…!!! This spoof/parody film received some of the worst, lowest-scoring reviews I’ve ever read, which is odd because I genuinely enjoyed it. Mind you, I watched it at exactly the right time for me, which was the week after I’d re-watched all five TWILIGHT movies back-to-back with my daughter, who grew up with them and adored them as both a teenager and an adult. We had great fun re-watching the movies, and I’m even hell-bent on reading all four books now as well, completing my transformation into fully-fledged TWILIGHT mom.

Yes, I can see the ridiculousness of it all; the angsty scenery-chewing of Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, the mopey indecision tempered with the crazy stubbornness of Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, and her absolute determination to do what’s bad for her, but you can see all that and still have a laugh at the films. You can see the flaws, yet still enjoy bonding over the movies with a family member for whom HARRY POTTER and TWILIGHT were amongst the biggest things in her childhood.


VAMPIRES SUCK is a direct parody of the first two TWILIGHT films, TWILIGHT and NEW MOON. Jenn Proske as Becca Crane/Bella Swan is hilarious; just the right amount of mopey-ness, indecision, angst, low self-esteem and embarrassing insistence on throwing herself at Edward Sullen/Edward Cullen, well-played by Matt Lanter.


His trademark lovely hair is gigantically high, he still sparkles in the sunlight, he’s deathly pale with silent movie star make-up and burning red eyes and he loves himself more than he could ever love Becca Crane.

Just like in TWILIGHT, Becca and Edward meet when Becca relocates to Sporks to be with her town sheriff Dad, Frank Crane. The kids attend the same high school, and keep catching each other’s eye dramatically across a crowded cafeteria.


It’s not long before the dozey pair are crazy in love with each other and the horny Becca, struggling valiantly against her repressed sexuality, is trying desperately hard to get the pale, bouffant One to lose his own virginity along with hers, but no dice. Sorry, Becca, but he’s wearing ‘a purity ring.’ It’d be easier to separate him from his fangs than his trousers…

Jacob White/Jacob Black is here too as the Native American Indian hottie who turns into a werewolf at will. The rough-housing scene between his wheel-chair-bound father and Becca’s cop father is about the funniest scene in the whole film.


Jacob and Edward are love rivals once more, and Jacob’s confiding in Becca that his contract stipulates shirtlessness every ten minutes of screen time is so funny. Jacob’s abs are top notch as usual and, here as in the real TWILIGHT films, Bella doesn’t love him like she loves Edward, but she’s damn well going to keep him dangling on the end of a string just the same, because he’s gorgeous and he’s devoted to her, and what young lass wouldn’t be flattered by that?

Elsewhere, there’s going to be be a giant vampire-themed prom at school, organised by Becca’s three best pals who look very like the three friends in the original movies, and elsewhere the vampire police, the Zolturi
(the Volturi), are baying for Edward’s delicious blood as he’s been exposing himself in the sunshine over at the festival of Saint Salvatore.

Edward, you dirty beast! Put your sparkly willy back in your pants where it belongs this instant! Don’t you point that thing at me. I can still see it, Edward, winking at me! There, that’s better, all tucked away nice and proper-like. Anyway, Edward fights the head of the Zolturi, Daro/Aro, and then asks Becca to marry him. I think that’s about it, really. It’s not CITIZEN KANE, lol.

I love the trio of vampires confused with the Black-Eyed Peas, James, Victoria and Laurent, and the Team Edward and Team Jacob fan-girls. In the original TWILIGHT, thank-yous go out in the credits to the folks who did security during the movie for Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.
Messrs Pattinson and Lautner must have been proper lurve-gods back in the day.

Can you imagine how many teenage girls would have been trying to get near the two heart-throbs during the making of the films? Trying to get a picture or an autograph, or pinch a lock of hair (doesn’t matter from which end!) or an item of clothing. Tsk tsk, the little harpies!


Anyway, I loved this little spoof fillum, which also parodies other vampire shows BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, TRUE BLOOD and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, and the following individuals: Lady Gaga, Chris Brown, the Black-Eyed Peas and Tiger Woods the golfer. I don’t believe the film’s title, however, when it says that vampires suck. Vampires don’t suck, they rule. They really, totally do.


AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Stops-Later-Book-ebook/dp/B091J75WNB/
 

TWILIGHT 4&5: BREAKING DAWN 1(2011) AND BREAKING DAWN 2 (2012). REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

TWILIGHT 4&5: BREAKING DAWN 1 (2011) AND BREAKING DAWN 2 (2012).
BOTH DIRECTED BY BILL CONDON AND BOTH SCREENPLAYS BY MELISSA ROSENBERG.
STARRING KRISTEN STEWART, ROBERT PATTINSON, TAYLOR LAUTNER, PETER FACINELLI AND BILLY BURKE.
BASED ON THE BOOKS BY STEPHENIE MEYER.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I thoroughly enjoyed both of these instalments of the TWILIGHT movie franchise. Who doesn’t love a comically mismatched wedding (a human female and a vampire male), an hilarious honeymoon where sex with the groom nearly cripples the bride, a pregnancy that makes itself known after just two weeks and a baby that’s practically walking and talking unaided by the time the loved-up couple exit the plane at the end of the honeymoon? And I’m only exaggerating, like, a teensy tiny little bit, you’ll see.

So, to elaborate a tad, Bella Swan, human female of Forks, Washington, recently graduated from high school, is marrying Edward Cullen, local vampire, nicknamed Sparkles by me for What He Does In The Sunlight, the big wuss, lol.

Their families and friends are out in full force to support them, even though Bella’s lovely kind father Charlie, the Sheriff of Forks, has his misgivings, and he doesn’t even know yet that the Cullens are bleedin’ vampires to a man…!

The wedding is a fairy-tale one, with rose petals everywhere and Bella in a beautiful white dress, because she really is still a virgin. The honeymoon is on a gorgeous paradise island which they’ll have to themselves, except for the caretakers. Edward and Bella finally do on the island what they’ve been threatening to do all franchise… have sex…

It seems to go well, but next morning their bedroom is completely trashed and there are big bruises all over Bella, because she’s still only a puny human and Edward is a powerful vampire who, believe it or not, was holding back when he made love to Bella so that he didn’t crush her to death in his manly kung-fu grip or something.

Two weeks later, Bella and Edward have had to dash home because Bella is seemingly pregnant, which all the vampires seem to be shocked at for some reason. Can’t vampires get human females pregnant if they have sex? It’s what seems to have happened, nonetheless, and the Cullen family now have to deal with it.

Giving birth to a vampire’s baby when you’re still a human is a dangerous business and it very nearly kills Bella. Her father Charlie is terrified for her health in general, though he doesn’t know about the baby yet, and her other true love, part-time werewolf Jacob Black- the wolves are the mortal enemies of the vampires- wants to murder Edward for putting the love of both their lives in such mortal danger.

Sparkles has caused this entire ridiculous hoo-ha with his big sparkly willy. Yep, willies- sparkly or not- will do that. Ah, willies, is it? (Read in the style of a grizzly old frontiers-man!) Came across a-couple of ‘em in mah time, up there on Bear Mountain. Mostly bears up there most of the year, don’t usually get no willies no-how, but that one summer, oh, how I seen ‘em…! So many darn willies. The one that got away, even bigger that the two I catched…!

The CGI and special effects around Bella’s physical deterioration are actually superb, although it’s uncomfortable to see her looking like a concentration camp victim. The baby is taking all of Bella’s nutrition- yep, they’ll do that!- and it looks like Bella might genuinely die of starvation when Carlisle, the Cullen family paterfamilias and a doctor of medicine, steps in and feeds Bella a load of human blood just to stop her from dying of hunger.

A sort of Uma-Thurman-in-PULP FICTION situation occurs very dramatically, however, and Edward Cullen’s instantaneous John Travolta-style reaction results in the one thing that Bella has wanted all along, apart from her precious baby… Bella becomes a vampire, and, boy, is there going to be a lot of explaining to do in the Christmas newsletter this year…!

BREAKING DAWN 2 sees the Cullens and the Blacks getting acclimatised to having the new baby around. Bella has named the little girl ‘Renesmee’ in honour of both their mothers. Jacob Black, the part werewolf, has ‘imprinted’ on the baby, which means that he is honour-bound to protect her from all harm for the rest of both their lives. I think it also means that he has to marry her when she’s of an age, which is quite creepy…!

The baby has grown at an unnatural rate, and is practically getting ready to go off to college when word comes that the vampire police, the Volturi, are coming from Italy to kill the baby, as they believe her to be an ‘Immortal’ baby, one that could be a threat to them. She’s not what they think, however, so the Cullens go about amassing ‘witnesses,’ ie, other vampires, to put in a good word for them. For all the good it might do…

The battle itself is great fun. Dakota Fanning as the bitchy Jane, Volturi Queen of Pain, gets knocked on her ass, as does Michael Sheen as Aro, the highly camp leader of this very camp conglomeration of vampires. Bella, the newborn vampire, acquits herself well in her first skirmish and is a fiercely loving and loyal mother to Renesmee.

Rami Malek, who stars as Freddie Mercury in the superb BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (2018), weighs in on the side of the Cullens, as do the werewolves, while Jacob Black heroically guards Renesmee. But, when the dust settles, where will Bella, Edward and Renesmee stand?

I assume the Cullens will continue to stand where they always have, in their beautiful glasshouse in the forest, in a straight line as usual, fully dressed at all times in smart-casual designer clobber. They’re never caught short or taken by surprise or doing anything when Alice has one of her ‘visions,’ which always require immediate action.

No-one’s ever in the toilet, or fiddling around with the fuseboard or doing a Sudoku or anything. I really think they must stand around in a state of suspended animation until Alice comes in and tersely delivers one of her pronouncements, which are never good news. They all look like dolls, action figures that have to be moved into position by the child who owns them. Maybe a child does own them! It would explain a lot.

The entire cast get a shout-out in the end credits while the viewers are free to bawl their eyes out from the very opening bars of Christina Perri’s song, A Thousand Years, which even I, a relative newbie to the franchise, will always now associate with the TWILIGHT movies.

I’ve put the cart before the horse a bit, I know, by watching the films first, but I now intend to read the books as well. I don’t do owt by halves, me. Does that make me a Twilight mom, albeit ten years too late? If it does, it does. Sparkle on, Twilight fans. Sparkle on…  

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:

Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

TWILIGHT 3: ECLIPSE. (2010) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

TWILIGHT 3: ECLIPSE. (2010) DIRECTED BY DAVID SLADE. BASED ON THE BOOKS BY STEPHENIE MEYER.
STARRING KIRSTEN STEWART, ROBERT PATTINSON, TAYLOR LAUTNER, BILLY BURKE, BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD, DAKOTA FANNING, GIL BIRMINGHAM AND PETER FACINELLI.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I didn’t enjoy watching this third instalment of the vampire romance saga as much as I did the first two films, because there are a whole load of new vampire enemies in it that I just can’t bring myself to give a shit about, if you know what I mean, and I can promise you that I won’t be writing too much about this aspect of the film. I can even break the plot of this third film down into numbered parts for ease of reading, if you like, so clear-cut is it.

1.      Bella Swan, human schoolgirl, adores Edward Cullen, a vampire over a century old who sparkles in the sunlight, goddamn it. ‘Tain’t natural, it just ain’t natural. They are having one of those deathly intense relationships only teenagers can have where they talk about the negatives ad nauseam and only break it up to do a little kissing and necking.

2.      Bella desperately wants Sparkles to ‘turn’ her into a vampire, because, you know, what a great life they lead in the shadows and all that jazz. Sparkles is reluctant to ruin her life by so doing, fair play to him, but, if he must, then he insists on their being properly married first. Old-fashioned, but, I suppose, vaguely commendable.

3.      Bella has to be awkward, of course. She refuses his proposal initially, saying that marriage is only a piece of paper, which doesn’t really fit with what we know of her devotion to Edward and her unwillingness to allow him to continue on life’s journey alone without her. On the other hand, her parents’ marriage has been a bit of a disaster, so maybe that’s what’s influencing her strange decision.

4.      Bella eventually caves in to the idea of marriage. So, now their plan is marriage, sex, then the ‘turning.’ As opposed to sex, the ‘turning’ and no marriage. And the ‘turning,’ followed by ‘let’s see how it goes.’ It’s getting confusing now though, so let’s hope they don’t change the running order of things too many more times…!

5.      Bella has the hots big-time for part-time werewolf, full-time beefcake Jacob Black, played by Taylor Lautner. He doesn’t wear a shirt once in this film, and his exceptional abdominals give even Edward the heebie-jeebies. ‘Doesn’t that guy own a shirt…?’ he asks Bella in a bitchy little girl voice. Threatened, much? Snigger.

6.      Bella also loves Jacob, but she loves Edward more. Both men, including poor Jacob who would do anything for her, are seemingly content to put up with this bullshit. They spend much of this film snickering at each other over who loves her more, or which one would be best for her in the long run.

7.      That would be Jacob, of course. She could marry Jacob and still remain a human girl who can do all of the things a human girl can, and she won’t have to say goodbye forever to her parents or any other loved ones, which she will have to do if she chooses Edward. When. When she chooses Edward, because there’s no question in her mind about it.

8.      There’s one hilarious scene on a snowy mountain-top where Jacob has to save a freezing Bella with his body warmth, something Old Frozen Dick can’t do for her no-how. You know, she should really be naked for this to work, says Jacob slyly, just to rile up the Pale One. And he’s accurate about that as well, it’s medically proven, so yah boo sucks to you, Sparkles! He just has to suck it up, lol.

9.      The movie ends with a long boring battle between the Cullen vampires and a bunch of stupid ‘newborn’ vampires from out-of-town, with the magnificent werewolves of Jacob’s pack weighing in on the side of the Cullens for Bella’s sake.

10.  Bryce Dallas Howard (Aunt Claire from JURASSIC WORLD; the blind girl from THE VILLAGE by M. Night Shomom- Shymom- Shomomolon- by the guy who made SIGNS) stars in this film as the red-headed Victoria, leader of the enemy clan of vampires. Her mate James- mate as in lover, not me old mucker- was killed by Edward in an earlier film, hence her beef with the Cullens.

11.      Dakota Fanning also stars as the bitchy Jane, the Queen of Pain, a member of the Volturi or Vampire Police. Vampire Police, can you imagine? ‘Licence and registration, please, sir,’ and ‘I’m gonna need you to blow into this bag for me, sir…!’

12.      Also, just to mention that the movie touches on the back stories of both Rosalie and Jasper Hale, both mopey Cullens, in this film, but I don’t care enough about either minor character to recount their various histories here. What? They’re boring AF, lol.

13.  The best- and funniest-part of this film is the love rivalry between Jacob and Edward, and the way in which Bella openly encourages this for all she’s worth, the dirty minx!

14.  Stay tuned for my review of the next two films, BREAKING DAWN: PARTS ONE AND TWO, because we’ll be talking about the marriage and the wedding night and the losing, at long last, of Bella’s virginity; one movie-critiquing wag christened ECLIPSE ‘the ongoing saga of the unbroken duck.’ Hilarious. Be there or be, well, somewhere else. But don’t be somewhere else, please. Here’s where the long-awaited deflowering will be discussed in all its bloody glory…

 AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Stops-Later-Book-ebook/dp/B091J75WNB/
  

REASONS WHY WRITER’S RETREATS ARE BETTER THAN PRISON — The Writing Bug

“Everyone [attending the retreat] wanted the same thing: to be reminded of what it felt like to be pulled toward his or her work, and to be unable to resist.” ~Mark Salzman, author of The Man in the Empty Boat By Brian Kaufman I’ve talked to writers who entertain the fantasy of writing a novel […]

REASONS WHY WRITER’S RETREATS ARE BETTER THAN PRISON — The Writing Bug