Monday, March 30, 2009

The Absence

Review by The Bone Breaker

Last year [before I had this blog] I read Hussey's debut novel, Through A Glass, Darkly and was thoroughly impressed! If you have not yet done so, I encourage you to check Hussey out!

In The Absence, Hussey grabs you from the very first page and doesn't let go! Not only has Hussey written another extremely creepy novel, he has crafted a tale about family in general.

In this story, Hussey has created a mother who is literally "absent" [you will learn exactly what that means] while raising her family and a cheating/alcoholic husband/father. The oldest son is struggling with the fault of causing the car accident that claimed his mother's life, and the youngest son is dealing with a friend's suicide - however these things soon become the very least of their worries. . .

When I read Through A Glass, Darkly, I remember comparing bits and pieces of it to Lumley & King - In The Absence, there is more of a Lovecraftian feel to the story.

Hussey's gift is, without a doubt, imagery - when you are reading his works, you feel as if you are right there, where the story is taking place. . . I obtained permission from the publisher to write this small excerpt from the book, so that you can see what I mean:

The kitchen door opened.
The she heard it: a soft mewling. She gripped the rabbit's foot.
'Mrs Sutton? Please, who's there?'
The resonance of the sound increased and, at the end of each intonation, a cry gargled. It had a synaesthetic effect on Elsie. It rattled in her ear and she saw the world around her quilted in a red gauze. Disinfectant, and the smell of sterile medical equipment, burned her nostrils. Her legs parted and she seemed to feel fingers delving deep inside. She looked down, half expecting to see a face, covered with a surgical mask, smiling up at her:
Nearly done Miss Cuttle. Nearly out.
But that is not what she saw.
It crawled across the kitchen tiles: a baby . . . of sorts.
Reaching the centre of the room, it stopped, turned its head one hundred and eighty degrees and blinked up at its mother.
Elsie did not scream.
Spewed into the world half-made, the foetus displayed all the motor functions it might have possessed had it been born the year before. There was even an air of curiosity, as it slapped the ground with a plump palm. With this movement, flecks of amniotic tissue fell from its shoulders and from the caul clinging to its head. Much of the sac membrane, however, remained fixed to the child, like strands of swaddling. Between its legs trailed a stunted umbilical cord. Snot bubbled from the slits that served as the infant's nose and threaded to the floor. Again, the mouth opened and mewling erupted over toothless gums. It called to her, this thing of her making, this creature that she had failed to destroy. It wanted its mother. It wanted to suckle.
'Shhh, shhh,' Elsie implored.
But her child would not be hushed.
'Are you hungry?'
'Ma . . . ma'
A remnant of sanity made itself felt. Elsie shot out of the chair and pressed her back against the sink. She watched as the child screamed and toppled onto its back. With a horrible snap its arms and legs inverted and it skittered, spider-like, toward its mother. Only now did Elsie see that the thing was sexless, like a doll.
'I'm sorry,' she shrieked. 'Please, I'm sorry.'
Little hands grasped her legs. With surprising force they dragged her to the ground. There was no fight in Elsie Cuttle, for this was God's judgment upon her. . .

I will leave the rest to your imagination - pretty freaky though, huh? [and this is only page 80!]
There are even more horrific things to be found within this novel - it is guaranteed to give you goosebumps!

So far, the best book of 2009!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Frat House Massacre

Review by The Bone Breaker

Supposedly inspired by actual events, this film takes place at Newcombe University, in 1979.

The film opens with a literal massacre having taken place and then jumps back to a year earlier - June, 1978, where we meet Sean and his brother Bobby. Unfortunately, soon after we meet Bobby, he is involved in a drunk driving accident, leaving his older brother Sean to go off to college alone [something they had planned to do together]

While at college, Sean joins the Delta Iota Epsilon fraternity as planned - however, after realizing how sadistic his "brothers" are, he is not sure that he made the right choice in joining this particular fraternity, and decides to leave the fraternity, which of course doesn't bode well with his "brothers".

While all of this was going on, I felt sort-of confused - it felt like I started the movie in the middle, rather than at the beginning, as there was really no lead-up as to what was happening.

However, this feeling soon changed as the first 30 minutes were really just a build-up for what was to come - a story of revenge and a true brother's "bond".

I am happy to say that everything pretty much tied itself together in the end.
[well, sort-of - I wasn't completely satisfied at the end of the film - I would have liked to have had more background story on the surviving character]

As for the "feel" of the film - the filmmakers did an excellent job bringing the grindhouse aspect of films from the late 70's to this one - from the looks, clothes, sets, etc. I also thought the blood/gore was very well done/realistic.

Unfortunately, the trailer was removed from YouTube due to violating their terms, however you can visit the film's website at and view the trailer there.

Keep an eye out for this one, and in the meantime, I am going to check out Pucci's previous film - Camp Slaughter. . .


Monday, March 23, 2009


Review by The Bone Breaker

Generally, I reserve short stories for when I am between novels - particularly if I am waiting for a book to arrive in the mail - that way, I know I will not be in the middle of a book, when a new one arrives. :-)

This wasn't the case with this collection of short stories. I had nothing on my plate when I started to read this collection, and it's a good thing as I was so captivated by the tales within, that a new novel would have had to have been set aside anyhow.

The first story, Bloodlines, is the longest at 47 pages. This is the story of four complete strangers who are invited to a mysterious gathering at a Southern Louisiana Manor, that was built in the 1800's, and has a sordid history behind it. It is a tale of greed. . .

Next is April - the story of a 17 year-old girl who has been experiencing mysterious blackouts. Upon awakening, her bedroom would appear to have been ransacked, and at one point she even found a butcher knife under her mattress. What is the story behind her strange blackouts?
[this one is a great story, however I felt that it ended too abruptly - I wanted more!]
* Note: Keeping in contact with the author of this collection, I found out, just the other day, that April may be made into a film - Cool! :-)

In The God Complex, Brown tells the tale of a cult that uses methadone wafers [during their weekly communion] to control its congregation through addiction and sedation. . .

From Midnight to One tells the story of an unhappily married woman, waiting for her husband to come home - while home alone, in the woods, during a storm, with possible intruders in the house. . .
[a very cool & creepy story]

In The Acquired Taste, a new parasite is discovered in some sushi - a parasite that affects the brain, turning people homicidal!

It's All True is an excellent story about an author who is investigating a haunted mansion that was once used as an amputation hospital during the Civil War. He enters with only a camera, a recorder, and a flashlight. . .

Live Through This is a scary story because it could really happen - it is a tale of a bedridden man and his obsessed lover!

In Two Miles, the main character of the story wakes up - seemingly in the middle of a desert - not knowing when or how he got there. After a mysterious wall and a billboard "screen" appear, showing scenes from his life, he begins to wonder if he has been drugged. . .

The End of Summer is probably the most memorable story in this collection. In this story, the title character - Summer - inherits her aunt's home, which is filled with all sorts of occult paraphernalia, including books, voodoo dolls, etc. After going through the home, bizarre deaths start to occur. . .

Feast of the Pigs tells the story of a drug pusher who is arrested in an alley, by a female officer. He is then stuck in a holding cell - his rights were not read to him, he did not get a phone call, and he was never fingerprinted. . .
[Screw it, I'm going to blow the whistle on this one - this one is a killer vampire story! Ahhhhh - sorry, I couldn't help myself]

In A Dead Ringer, on New Year's Eve, 1897, an unfaithful wife and her lover murder her husband. . .
[this tale was fantastic and has a very "Poe" feel to it]

House by the River tells the tale of a schizophrenic serial killer, as told by a lone survivor. . .

Althea's Last Dance is the story of a modern day Jack the Ripper. Althea is a stripper, who crosses his path. . .
[If you were wondering about the cover of the book - shown above - it is a butterfly charm, which is worn by Althea in this story]

Bliss Hill is the shortest story in this collection - only a mere five pages. In 1942, something is killing the chickens and cattle on a rural farm. . .

The last story, Zoe's Swan Song is about an egotistical superstar who is determined to become even more beautiful than she already is. . .
[this one is quite nauseating, and I mean that as a compliment]

In the very beginning of the book, Brown quotes Poe, Lovecraft, Nietzsche, and Francis Bacon - I am not familiar with Bacon, though I am certain that the others would be be proud of their influence upon Brown's bodies of work found in this collection. Brown is very descriptive and atmospheric. He utilizes very cool metaphorical sentence structures, and he has a knack for keeping you on the very edge, throughout his stories [which progressively get better, in my opinion]

If you enjoy short stories, then this collection is definitely recommended!

For further information, you can visit the author's website at


Friday, March 20, 2009

Upcoming Film: The Landlord

A few days ago, I received an e-mail from Massive Ego Productions about their upcoming film The Landlord.

The Landlord is an independent horror-comedy film about a young man who grew up in a demon-haunted apartment building, and must choose between the monsters that raised him and the tenants they devour.

Here is a teaser trailer for the film:

For further information on the film, visit:

Also, the Writer/Director/Co-Producer of the film - Emil Hyde - was kind enough to answer some questions for me, if you would like to read those over at

The film is currently in post production and should be hitting film festivals and horror conventions, this Summer. [I believe that plans are for the DVD to hopefully be released sometime around Halloween]
*I am currently on the waiting list for an advance review copy, so stay tuned for a review! ;-)


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vacancy 2: The First Cut

Review by The Bone Breaker

If you enjoyed the 1st Vacancy, then you should enjoy this one as well.
Being a prequel, this one goes back to where and how it all started. We first meet Gordon and Reece - two of the sleazy guys running the Meadow View Inn, where they have cameras installed in the rooms, to spy on their guests having sex. . . That is, until Mr. Smith comes along.

When Mr. Smith checks into the motel with a hooker, Gordon & Reece sit back to watch, only to be shocked by witnessing Mr. Smith brutally stab the hooker to death. Not wanting to call the cops, because of their cameras and all, they hold Mr. Smith at gunpoint while deciding what they should do. Realizing what they were doing, Mr. Smith coerces them into filming snuff films, with him as the killer - and if you have seen the 1st film, then you know the rest of the story.

I actually enjoyed the first one, as it portrayed a horrifying situation for any wayward traveling couple. When I heard about the prequel, I was intrigued, but honestly was not expecting a whole lot, however I think that this one is just as good as the 1st one [not better/not worse] equally the same.

Being a prequel, I figured that I knew how it was all going to end. When the characters had hope, I did not - knowing that everyone was ultimately doomed. Still, I was pleasantly surprised and entertained throughout. Scott G. Anderson [Mr. Smith] plays a pretty sick guy, laughing as he is brutally stabbing someone to death, which is nerve racking, to say the least.

Like I said, if you enjoyed the 1st one, then check this one out as well,