Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Archive for August, 2014

Flytrap 12

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

We’re doing a Kickstarter for issue #12 of our ‘zine Flytrap! The funds will go to paying artists and writers and printing and so on. Prizes include print copies (so pretty) and postcards and prints by our issue #11 artist Aislinn Quicksilver Harvey. If we get funded, we’ll open to fiction submissions in October. (We tend  to solicit non-fiction, poetry, and art.)

The issue is about one-sixth funded with 19 days to go, a rather slower start than we had last time; perhaps our potential backers are wearing body paint and feathers and tripping balls on the playa at Burning Man? If you can help spread the word, or donate, we’d appreciate it. You can read issue #11 online here.

WhiskeyHorror: Devil’s Pass

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

WhiskeyHorror report:

I made this, basically: http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipe/bourbon-and-peach-sweet-tea-punch/

Only it was extra-fruity because I used mango ceylon tea. Oh, and brown sugar simple syrup as sweetener, because the brown sugar goes well with bourbon. There are THREE CUPS of bourbon in that stuff, out of nine total cups of liquid. I had a glass, and Heather had a glass, and we were in the backyard going all WHOOOO. It is subtle but powerful. Katrina had some catching up to do when she arrived. (Even after drinking all night, I’ve got a couple cups of the stuff left in the pitcher. That’s an afternoon nap in liquid form.)

The film was Devil’s Pass (2013), a found-footage movie inspired by the Dyatlov Pass Incident (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyatlov_Pass_incident), which has always interested me as a student of the inexplicable and the weird and the Fortean. It was a great improvement over Wrong Turn 2.

Pretty snowy mountainous locations, and a clever plot, even if it doesn’t entirely hold up under scrutiny. I am happiest when a story does something I don’t expect, but the unexpected thing has to reasonably grow from the premise and arise organically from what came before in terms of character, milieu, etc. — random incomprehensible non-sequiturs are surprising but not satisfying. This one, for me, went in directions that were unexpected but made sense, and so I was a happy horror viewer. The acting was pretty uneven, but you can get away with some of that with a found-footage cast of twenty-somethings. The special effects, when they arrived, were not fantastic, but there was good use of scuttling in the darkness, always a favorite of mine, and lots of creepy tunnels. And mysterious doors. I’m a sucker for mysterious doors.

We also watched the antepenultimate and penultimate episodes of American Horror Story season 2 — I’d forgotten how much time they devote to falling action/tying up loose ends/resolving the frame story, but I rather like it.

Next week: I dunno. Maybe The Last Exorcism? And I was thinking of buying some single malt…

WhiskeyHorror: Wrong Turn 2

Friday, August 1st, 2014

WhiskeyHorror report! (Why am I doing a WhiskeyHorror report, when I usually don’t? I don’t know. I feel like it.)

We drank bourbon and cherry vanilla cokes, and manhattans.

Wrong Turn 2 was… well. The writing wasn’t as good as in Wrong Turn, which is saying something. Everyone’s favorite mutant cannibal hillbilly, Three-Finger, doesn’t even hoot in this one, and his hooting was the best thing about the original. (He was played by a new actor in this one; perhaps that actor lacks the original’s hooting prowess.)

There were far too many very clear shots of the cannibal mutants (wait, are they cannibals if they eat non-mutated humans? I guess so, I don’t think their differences amount to a difference in species), in very clear light, rather than brief shots in shadow, so they looked less menacing and more like…. people in prosthetics and make-up. (Mostly, they looked like The Saddest Possible Ferengi.)

I don’t think there was a single plot development that either I or Heather or Katrina didn’t call in advance. I mean, we’re all pretty good plot predictors, but I like there to be something that’s not totally foreseeable.

The mutant baby was pretty impressively disturbing. Henry Rollins was fine, though he mostly seemed to be inhabiting an entirely different movie. (I kinda would’ve preferred to see that movie.) Making fun of it had entertainment value. But generally I prefer a movie that’s less entirely mockable. I don’t think I’ll be chasing down future installments in the franchise.