I don’t really need to say much about this one do I? It’s one of the most iconic films of this century, both in horror and British cinema.
In a telling of the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse we follow twenty-something Shaun, his bbf Ed, girlfriend Liz, mum and two of Liz’s friends, Dianne and David. And it’s very British!
Edgar Wright directs, and helms a movie that nails each element. From the gore, to the pain of lose the characters go through during these few days. To get the balance between horror, comedy and pulling at the viewer’s heartstrings is not easy and Shaun of the Dead does each perfectly.
For me, this is a rare perfect film. There’s no real plot holes, no characters who aren’t believable. Even the conclusion of the movie sits well. The soundtrack and score are odd and silly at times, but fit perfectly in building the tone of the movie.
If you haven’t seen this movie, please change that and check it out.
Next up in my watch of David Court’s top 35 horror movies of the 2000s is the movie Pontypool.
I had no idea what to expect with this movie, although for some weird reason I thought it was set in Wales. So going in, I had no preconceptions on what to expect. I had no idea it would be this though.
If you want to watch this movie, stop reading now….. seriously. Stop and watch the movie. Don’t google it, don’t look it up on IMDB. Don’t ask friends. Just please, go and watch it.
Have you watched it? No, go and watch it!
Okay, I’m guessing you’ve watched it now.
So, this is set in a radio station as a shock jock sort of DJ(Stephen McHattie) is starting his morning stint on the station he works out with a producer (Lisa Houle) and an engineer (Georgina Reilly) ( I think those are the two ladies roles), and as the morning rolls along they start getting reports of an incident that is going on.
That’s enough for the plot. The acting is beautiful, the lead actor nails the character while the two other main characters play their parts with a solid strength. The producer character sparring off with the erratic DJ is particularly interesting to see.
The script the actors are working with is beautiful, and gets a lot of depth across. The actors, in particular the fella playing the DJ, really nail their respective lines and characters. I don’t think this film would work without these actors, what they bring to the film sells the story. Their execution of the dialogue has to be spot on as I think movies where its filmed in one location need that strength to hold the viewers interest.
The story plays out well, and there are explanations to what is going on. The ending hits a little hard, and there’s an odd little scene at the end of the film, which shouldn’t work but it does.
Pontypool is a new favourite of mine. Intriguing and from a story tellers point of view, it’s fascinating.
This is the second film off of David Court’s 35 best movies of the 2000s.
I haven’t seen this since it came out for rental, but surprisingly I remembered a fair bit of it, and also a lot I didn’t remember.
Overall I enjoyed it, probably more than I did first time around. It gave me a big smile when there was a cover of Disturbed’s Down With The Sickness, one of my favourite songs that I wasn’t familiar back on my first viewing.
The movie is well paced, acted superbly, written with a skill to both tug at the heartstrings while also adding a little humour. Kind of what we’ve come to expect from a script by James Gunn.
There’s some good gore, some interesting kills, and one of two moments that made me roll my eyes. There’s one moment in the film when the main characters need to help another isolated person hold up during this zombie hoard, only for their initial plan to go pair shaped. There are two other ways they could have helped this fella which is demonstrated in the following moments.
Despite that, this film is well worth a watch and deserves the praise it does get.
David Court is not only a damn good human being, a gifted wrangler of words, but also has a good eye for movies.
I’ve had the pleasure of not only meeting David, but sharing anthology space with him. He’s someone I hold in high regard. So when he posts a list of movies, I pay attention to it. This time though, I’m going one step further. I’m going to watch each and everyone on this list by the end of this year. Here is the list:
Of the list I’ve seen 18 of these movies, but I’m going to rewatch the, as I go. I’m going to try and watch them from 35 to 1, but I’m not holding to that religiously. I will also post about it as I go with just a few thoughts on each film, then I might put all those thoughts into one post.
Good evening folks, today I’ve written 1406 words after a few days of not writing anything. I’ve been a bit down for the last week or so, and I needed a couple of days to work through it.
This year has been hard, and although I’ve got out of the hole I was in with help from a number of people and I’ve got someone who is driving me to be the best I can be.
I’m not saying any of this for sympathy. I’m saying it because it’s something that has affected writing. It knocked me off it for a few days while I was focussing on myself. Three days without writing, then today I knocked out 1406 words in about two hours. Those words weren’t easy but they did begin to flow nicely as I got into the scene I was working on.
I was easily distracted, so have lost some of the discipline that I had built up. So, over the next couple of days I’ll be working on getting that determination back.
Now, to the first image in this post. If you’ve been reading my blog over the last week you’ll have seen the announcement for the Corona-Nation St anthology, well the pre-order is now live! It is doing really well, so please hit the link and check this out. The proceeds go to charity, and there’s a hell of a good list of writers who have pieces in here. Here’s the list again:
Matthew Cash Alys Daddi Dani Brown Lisa Presley Ian Woodhead James Jobling Dale Parnell Ian Davies Norbert Gora Penny Jones M. B. Feeney Matt Humphries Richard Archer Tom Johnstone Paul Hiscock Richmond A. Clements Patrick Flaherty Patrick R. McDonagh Peter Germany Ryan Simons Al Barz Jacob Prytherch David Court Mark Cassell
My story ‘The Wank Diaries” is a story that means a lot to me. I rewrote the ending after a major change in my life and it was this story that helped me get my head back into writing again. I said in my post the other day that I bled onto the page in it. I really did. I channeled a lot of what I was going through at the time into it, not literally but I used how I felt by putting that sense of despair I was feeling into the character. The entire ending was rewritten and the tone of the story changed a lot, and for the better I think.
Burdizzo Books who are putting this book out have done a lot of work on this anthology and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
I’m going to end this post by pointing out that NaNowriMo is a month away. A month….. Is everyone who is taking part getting exited? I know I am.
Yesterday I wrote 907 words on Penal Earth before work. When I got home I popped onto Facebook, as you do, and saw the announcement of the Corona-Nation St anthology from Burdizzo Books, which features my story, The Wank Diaries, amongst the many fine writers works included. I am super stoked for this. Much of this story was written at a time when I was going through my own personal hell and I think some of that gets reflected in the story. Brian Keene refers to it as Bleeding onto the page. That is something I’ve done in the past and something I think will happen more, simply because that’s what we do. When we create we tap into what we’ve experienced in life. Whether it’s light and fluffy or dark and hard. We put it on the page.
Back to Corona-Nation St though, its a charity anthology that’ll be tasing funds for a NHS related charity. It has a hell of a table of contents as well: Matthew Cash Alys Daddi Dani Brown Lisa Presley Ian Woodhead James Jobling Dale Parnell Ian Davies Norbert Gora Penny Jones M. B. Feeney Matt Humphries Richard Archer Tom Johnstone Paul Hiscock Richmond A. Clements Patrick Flaherty Patrick R. McDonagh Peter Germany Ryan Simons Al Barz Jacob Prytherch David Court Mark Cassell
Like seriously, there is a hell of a lot of talent here. I really cannot wait to get my hand on a copy of it 🙂
Back to writing though, I’ve got a fair amount of time today that I’m going to aim for about a thousand words and then I’ve got a few bits and pieces to do around the house and then I’m going to crack on with some more of this filing.
This is a fantastic collection from David Court. I’ve read some of his short fiction before and knew I liked his work and this collection has confirmed that.
There is a good variety of stories here. There’s a few that made me think, one of which made me stop what I was doing and say “oh sh*t”, and a couple that are just the written version of a gut punch. There was a couple of the stories that had me grinning like a kid!
Kristina Fitzgerald does a fantastic job of narration. Great range and delivery.
Under the Weather from Burdizzo Books and Back Road Books is now out in ebook and paperback.
In this weather-themed anthology we have stories from C.H. Baum, David Court, Paul M. Feeney, Paul Hiscock, Kitty Kane, Dave Jeffery, James Jobling, Lex H. Jones, Christoper Law, Adam Millard, Dale Robertson, Nathan Robinson, Phil Sloman, Mark Woods, and myself.
It’s compiled and edited by Matthew Cash, Em Dehaney, James Jobling, and Jeremy Peterson.
When I saw the call for this anthology it really ignited my imagination. I think I had a good half a dozen decent story ideas which after brainstorming I got it down to one that really hooked me and I had a lot of fun with. (I’ve since written another short story from elements of one of those ideas).
This is a charity anthology, so all the proceeds go to Resources For Autism.
So, Please check this anthology out. I’ve put UK and USA Amazon Links at the bottom of this post so please check this one out.
Under the Weather from Burdizzo Books and Back Road Books will be released on the 26th of August 2018.
Featured in this anthology are: C.H. Baum, David Court, Paul M. Feeney, Peter Germany, Paul Hiscock, Kitty Kane, Dave Jeffery, James Jobling, Lex H. Jones, Christopher Law, Adam Millard, Dale Robertson, Nathan Robinson, Phil Sloman, and Mark Woods.
It is compiled and edited by Matthew Cash, Em Dehaney, James Jobling, and Jeremy Peterson.
All the proceeds go to Resources for Autism.
Please look out for my story ‘The Snow’ in this anthology. I’m really excited about this anthology, it has such an amazing line-up and I can’t wait to see what stories they’ve crafted for this weather-themed anthology.
Under The Weather is available for Pre-Order so please pop over to Amazon and check it out.
This last year has been a tough one. As a family we’ve had a lot of crap thrown our way this year. We’ve lost loved ones, and had issues of health pepper us amongst other difficulties life has a habit of throwing in our paths.
It has been a hard year, it’s not been harder than anyone else’s year. It’s been what it is. We’ve taken each day as it comes and in my opinion that is the best way to take life at times.
These things I won’t go into detail on. They are things that affect my family as well as myself and I don’t think it’s my place to talk in-depth about these events on my public blog.
One moment this year that hit me harder than I thought something of its nature could was the death of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. Although now I am really out of date with most music, I was a huge fan of Linkin Park when they first hit the scene. Their first two albums are two of my favourite albums ever, I didn’t even listen to that type of music until they came along. It’s music that speaks to me, but I didn’t realise how important it is to me until Bennington’s death this year. I mourned his death in a way that I haven’t for other public figures. I read a lot of Tom Clancy when I was in my late teens. I was a huge fan of Alan Rickman as well, and although it saddened me when they died it wasn’t like when Chester Bennington died. I immediately binge listened to the Linkin Park albums I had, and blitz their YouTube channel. It was only a month or so ago that I’ve stopped getting a lump in my throat when I hear his vocals. I realised a few weeks after his death that I felt like this because it was the first death of one of my icons. Someone who not only did I look up to and admire, but someone who spoke to me. I didn’t know the death of someone I didn’t know would hit me as hard as Chester Bennington’s death did.
I’ve had highs and lows with writing this year. A few projects I put a lot of time into have crashed and burned pretty badly. In particular I was quite demoralised by a zombie story I thought was going to be something good but it just didn’t pan out how I was expecting it too and it kind of gave me a bit of a confidence hit. I had done a lot of outlining for it, characters had been thought out and developed, but it just didn’t go right. I tried to rewrite it for NaNo, and it’s not bad. I’m happier with it now than I was initially but it’s not how I was expecting it to go. I think I can roll with how it’s changing, I just need to do some re-thinking on it.
Something I have learned is that it doesn’t matter whether I write with a pen and paper or straight into a word processor the words are the same. I wrote a first draft of a story I’ve got a lot of hope for by hand but was writing something else at the same time digitally and realised quickly that it didn’t matter how I wrote something, if I was in the mood to write it all came out the same. With this story in particular I’ve got to change a lot for the second draft. Like the zombie story I mentioned it came out different to how I envisioned it. The biggest problem is I’ve written it from only one point of view, and to tell the story I want to I need to do it from multiple POVs. I don’t think it’ll be difficult, but I want to let it sit for another month or two before I return to it. I’d like to get some more planning done for it as well.
The work with Owen is a little up in the air at the moment but I’m expecting to find out what’s happening early in the new year.
The highest points of this year for me have been getting two stories published. Both through charity anthologies from Burdizzo Books. The first one, The Final Charge was in Sparks: An Electric Anthology in October. The second was my take on The Three French Hens in this years 12 Days of Christmas 2017 Anthology. I am incredibly proud of both of these stories. They were a lot of fun to write and knowing the proceeds from both books go to good causes makes it feel even better than it does. The folks at Burdizzo Books are fantastic people as well, along with the group of writers they have around them.
It’s great to finally have my writing in print and has really fired me up and shown me that it’s not impossible. There is nothing stopping me except myself.
The last item I really want to talk about are a few of the people I’ve met this year. I attended a book launch for Sparks up in Walsall and met the head honcho and editor Matthew Cash as well as a couple of the other contributors. We later had another launch in my home town as Burdizzo Books’ other editor, Em Dehaney, is from Gravesend as well. Both launch parties were fantastic, I did a reading at both, although with the Gravesend one I was hit with a severe cold a few hours before and was incredibly unwell. I thought I was going to pass out during my reading, but it was still an amazing experience.
I also went to a few cons this year. Unfortunately DemonCon down in Maidstone has now come to an end. I was pleased to be at the last one in February, but will miss it. It’s the con were I first me Dan Abnett and his wife Nik, who are lovely people. I went to Birmingham Horror Con around that time as well, that was incredibly fun and I got to see my friends Cat and Lynx Raven again as well as Dave from From The Shadows. I also went to EGX with my buddy Stefan from Stefan’s Daily Gaming. Although I’m not a huge gamer this was a lot of fun as well. It was good seeing some great games and a lot of people who were in their element. Bristol Horror Con was my favourite of the year though. Not only did I see CL Raven and Dave (From The Shadows) again but I also went to a couple of panels. I spent a little time talking to Adam Millard and his wife in the VIP room. Seriously lovely people who were very encouraging of my own work and just fun to talk to. I also got the chance to speak to Tim Lebbon as well. Again, another awesome and encouraging person. I just hope the more of these I go to the more at ease I get speaking to all these fantastic people.
The horror community is really welcoming and seems to have a lot of heart to it. It’s definitely a place I feel at home it.
One night in particular that was both fun and tiring was an all-night ghosts hunt I went on with Boleyn Paranormal down at a True Crime Museum in Hastings. It was a lot of fun, very interesting and I met more awesome people, but I’m not doing another all-nighter. I was shattered for a few days after that. Cat and Lynx Raven were there as well, and they popped back to my home to meet my animal army before they returned to Cardiff. En Route to my house we stopped at the site of the Battle of Hastings. Although not far from my home I can’t recall ever going there and it was quite a surreal experience that I’m glad we took the time to do.
A massive highlight of the year for me was meeting Scott Sigler and AB Kovacs. I’ve been a fan of Sigler’s work for a decade now and when he announced he was coming to Europe, including the UK, it would have taken the zombie apocalypse to have stopped me from getting there. It was a great evening in a pub in London just hanging out with Scott, A and other fans of Sigler’s work (AKA the Junkies). It was good chatting to them both and seeing the love they have for the fans of the work. Both Scott and A have a lot of charisma and energy and clearly love what they do, and it was one of the highlights of the year.
With Scott Sigler
With AB Kovacs
2017 has had a lot of downs, but its had a lot of ups as well. That’s what I’m focusing on, I’m not ignoring the low points, just choosing to look at the positives. Most importantly I appreciate those important people I have in my life. My friends and family mean the world to me and I’m very grateful having them all.