Of werewolves and cheesecake
I love Lori Handeland's Nightcreature series, honestly. But with Crescent Moon she is overplaying the genre:
„What I want is to lie you down on de ground, right here, and take you until you can’t argue with me anymore.“ (CM, p.81)
Make’s you wonder about the mental state of this guy … but perhaps what Miss Handeland is intent on telling us here is that eloquence in men is overrated; long as it has a hot bod, speech impediments and harebrainedness don’t matter much.
I guess the heroine easily matches up to the mental state of her object of desire:
I felt him come as the rain swirled around us, and I got so caught up in the depth of sensation, the scent, the sound, the feel of him and me together in the half-light, that I forgot that I’d already had one orgasm and went ahead and had another. (CM, p.113)
Hm, is there a shortage of orgasms in the world? Some kind of unwritten ‘only one per customer please’ rule?
Seriously though, if she’d thought about it sooner would she have stored the second one for a later use?
“Nah, cher, right here … I wanna be inside you with de rain comin’ down.” (CM, p.111)
Not to mention that calling a woman Cher is a page of it’s own in the book of questionable compliments, but that last part there? Hello? Scary Alien moments r’ us!
Did I mention that I love the Nightcreatur series?
I mean, seriously, what’s not to like on a series of novels that start on the premise of a group called the Jager-Suchers, formed by an ex WWII Special-Ops member assigned to stop Mengele from creating Super-Soldiers.
Do I need to mention that they failed to prevent Mengle from concluding his research and unleashing, drum roll please, werewolves upon the world?
Crescent Moon might be a cheesecake novel that is bound to put not only diabetics in a coma, but the start of the series is a collection of fine romantic & sexy action adventures, so feel free to ignore my ramblings and give Blue Moon a chance even if you don’t like to eat cake.
25 for the Island
25 books for the Island*:
1. Das große Robert Sheckley Buch (a collection of Sheckleys best shorts**)
2. The collected works of E. A. Poe
3. Das werden der Amerikanischen Republik Bd.1 Morison-Commager (from Columbus to the turn of the 19th century)
4. Traveller by Richard Adams
5. Lincoln’s Dreams by Connie Willis
6. A collection of classic English Poetry (Poems from the 12th to the 19th centry)
7. W. H. Auden, Poems
8. Metamorphosen, Ovid
9. Aztec Mythology (I got a great small book on those, don’t remember the author right away though)
10. Something wicked this way comes by Ray Bradbury
11. Lucifer’s Hammer, Niven & Pournell
12. Christine by Stephen King (first King book I read and still one of my faves)
13. Schwarze Träume, by Kathe Koja (a marvellous translation of Bad Brains)
14. Nightmare Movies by Kim Newman (Horror movies from the 60’s to the 80’s)
15. Smarte Sprüche USA: Slang und Witz für alle Lebenslagen, Uwe Kreisel & Pamela Ann Tabbert (American Slang as found on T-Shirt’s, Bumper Stickers and in popular quotes)
16. Federico Garcia Lorca, with so much time on my hands I simply must finally understand his Poems at one point.
17. The Passionate Eye, by Suzanne Vega
18. Das große Buch der Deutschen Sagen and Legenden (Myths and Legends from Germany)
19. Hunting Dinosaurs (National Geographic book)
20. A collection of British and American Folksongs and Anthems
21. The Hite Report, by Shere Hite
22. Guerilla Dating Tactics, by Sharyn Wolf (the only worthwhile dating guide, entertaining to read)
23. One of the collected volumes of Yoko Tsuno’s adventures, a comic by Roger Leloup I never grow tired of reading.
24. J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy
25. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
* those things are moments desicions and therefore always subject to change
**stories that is, naturally, not his briefs.
Bring your book to the slaughter
After watching I am Legend recently I happened to notice something about that whole book to movies affair: it never turns out well. I know, that isn’t new and every sane person will advise you to either read the book after you saw the movie (which will make the book seem all the more awesome and the movie only slightly less good, if it was done in a decent way) or to try hard to ignore that the movie you’re watching is supposed to be based on the book, but best is to forgo watching the movie entirely if you read the book. But I also realised that whenever a book I enjoyed reading is turned into a movie I have two instant reactions:
a. a feeling dread settles with me for what they will come up with
b. a burning desire to watch the movie no matter how awful it looks or sounds
I am Legend was one of those books everybody in my generation had to have read at one point. It’s like there’s an unspoken list of books in each generation that is required reading material, for us that was, incomplete and in no particular order:
Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien
2001 - A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke
I am Legend Richard Matheson
Ringworld Larry Niven
Dune Frank Herbert
Do androids dream of electric sheep? Philip K. Dick
Of that list only Ringworld is left to be ‘graced’ with a Hollywood treatment.
The fact notwithstanding that I only shortly before witnessed the insensitivity of Hollywood to original material when watching Blood & Chocolate (by Annette Kurtis Clause, great young adult novel), I felt compelled to watch I am Legend. The first hour of that movie was actually not bad, they did skew the story, added and took elements to and from it but essentially the atmosphere came across. When the question what had happened to his family was solved in a dreadfully clichéd climax, I knew that it only could go downhill from now onwards. Still I kept watching, and like a train wreck waiting to happen it inexorably steered towards an end that was bound to bring you to tears, but not because of the tragic … well, actually yes, because of that; only that the tragic involved was the way they chose to tweak the perfect end of the book into a ‘perfect’ Hollywood ending. I am Legend got turned from a novel Vampire story into a predictable all’s well that ends well Hollywood cliché. For Blood & Chocolate they used the name and characters and graciously ignored most of the book. Seemingly oblivious to it, they missed the golden opportunity to either strip the book simply of its subplot and to go for the tragedy of the love story or better yet to rectify the flawed, because of being too rushed, end. Sadly they opted instead to add a love story of their own writing to the movie and generally to water down every aspect of the book until it became a faceless, run of the mill, paranormal teen romance, to which they then tagged on a trailer that was obviously intended to cash in on the success of Underworld. There’s a blatant disrespect for source material at work in the movies industry that demands that everything has to end on an uplifting, happy note and much as possible has to look like the last big genre hit; in case you wondered at any point why the I am Legend trailer makes the movie look like a bastardized American version of 28 Days later, there you have the answer.
And the next disappointment is already waiting in the aisles, the adaptation of Stephenie Mayer’s Twilight. Looking at some of the cast already fills you with a sense of ‘What are they thinking?’ Now I know that a movie cast can seldom hope to capture the image of the characters for each individual viewer (though they do get it just right at times like for King’s Pet Sematary), but still they should at least try to capture the traits of a character when doing the casting…
And yet I will furtively nurse my hope that this movie will turn out to become a pleasant break from the rule. See ya at the next book slaughter.
Lasst die Untoten ruhen!
Alles hat so schön angefangen mit dem Remake zu Night of the Living Dead (Tom Savini, 1990). Einem werkgetreuen update des Romero Klassikers mit einem leicht variierten Ende.
Jahre später kam dann die etwas enttäuschende Neufassung von Dawn of the Dead (Zack Snyder, 2004). Mit mehr Gore aber uninspirierter Regie, die sich oft in sinnlosen Einstellungen ergeht.
Und letztlich folgt nun Day of the Dead neu Gefasst von Genre Regisseur Steve Miner. Nun Miner wird sicher niemals einen Preis für innovativste Regie gewinnen, doch eigentlich pflegte er immer handwerklich solide Arbeit abzuliefern (Hier seien v.a. Freitag der 13. II, Warlock und H20 erwähnt). Gemessen daran geht man mit gewisser Hoffnung an dieses neueste Remake aus Romero’s Zombie Trilogie (jawohl Trilogie, Land of the Dead und Diary of the Dead kann man wirklich nur als nach Gedanken betrachten). Doch spätestens wenn dann der Name Boaz Davidson auftaucht ahnt man übles. Mit recht wie sich erweist: DotD entlehnt sich vom Original nur noch den Titel und hat so gar nichts mehr mit den Zombie filmen gemein, in der Agilität der vermeintlich untoten sowie den Verwandlungssequenzen ist deutlich der Einfluss von Bava’s Demoni zu spüren. Wer immer das Script verfasste hat dazu noch den Sprung ins 21. Jahrhundert verpasst und erdreistet sich nun uns eine Stereotype 'Frau die Soldat spielt' Charaktere anzubieten (dargestellt von Mena Suvari die sich durch das fehlen jeglichen Talents auszeichnet, womit sie sich in diesem streifen in bester Gesellschaft befindet) welche dann auch prompt in schöner Regelmäßigkeit gerettet werden muss. Miner’s Regieführung passt sich dem gesamt werk nahtlos an und kommt gerade so mäßig daher wie Script und Darsteller. Wer sich unbedingt einen Zombie film antun will greift da lieber zu Zombie Night, der ist zwar nicht besser aber da es sich dabei aber um eine No-Budget Produktion handelt bleibt man da wenigstens von albernen CGI Zombies verschont.Für Day of the Dead gilt: Finger weg, lasst die Untoten einfach ruhen!
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