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Hubby Licks It Up (2013): White Spume Flew Its Ghost Against the Glass

A. Cuckold, Hubby Licks It Up (No publisher listed, 2013)

Points off: incomplete information on Amazon page.


Title on solid colored background. Most boring book cover in ages.

“I paid your design firm a hundred grand and they came up with THIS?”
photo credit: me

Well will you look at that—a piece of quickie Kindle porn, written by someone with the ridiculous pseudonym of A. Cuckold no less, that’s actually well-written enough to make me wonder if the guy actually knows his pseudonym is patterned after the protagonist of Edwin Abbott’s Flatland. Hell, you could even argue that Brandon, the protagonist of Hubby Licks It Up, is, in fact, A. Square, at least in the sixties slang use of the word. Brandon is, the description tells us, rather wealthy—enough so to have landed Steffi, a former model, for a wife—but doesn’t have much going on in most other departments. (A milquetoast, in other words.) Steffi is decidedly unsatisfied with the marriage bed, accidentally discovers that the reason is her square may in fact be gay, and decides to put that hypothesis to the test. I’m pretty sure the title means it’s not much of a spoiler to say they both end up having a great deal of fun. This is obviously vertical-market Kindle porn, and I’m pretty sure you should be able to tell from the title whether it’s your thing or not (if you can’t puzzle out the story’s kink from the book’s title, it’s not your thing—trust me on this). If it is, with all the caveats that come with cheap, short Kindle porn as regards non-existent character development, scene-setting, blah blah blah, it’s well-written enough that if “A. Cuckold” were to ever to turn this into a novel-length offering that incorporated all that good stuff, I would not hesitate one second in giving it a chance. ***


1000 Best and 100 Worst list changes, Jan. 2014

Only one on the thousand-best list:
ON:Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade (George Hickenlooper, 1993) 255
Dead and Breakfast (Matthew Leutwyler, 2004)

Lots of movement on the 100-Worst list, though, judging by some of the “on”s I haven’t adjusted it since September of last year…
Zombie Hunter (K. King, 2013) 5The Age of Stupid (Franny Armstrong, 2008) 10
The Last Broadcast Chapter Two: Pandora’s Dawn (George Petersen, 2013) 12
Rise of the Zombies (Nick Lyon, 2012) 14
After the Storm (Guy Ferland, 2001) 23
Hollow (Michael Axelgaard, 2011) 41
Infected (Glenn Ciano, 2013) 58
The Turning (L.A. Puopolo, 1992) 60
Mystery Men (Kinka Usher, 1999)
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (Brett Halvorson, 1999) 71
Beowulf (Graham Baker, 1999)
Near Death (Joe Castro, 2004)
Sweet Evil (René Eram, 1996)
Grave Encounters (Vicious and Vicious, 2011)
Fear House (Michael R. Morris, 2008)
Boogeyman II (Nick Starr, 1983)
Warriors of Terra (Robert Wilson, 2006)
The Rockville Slayer (Marc Selz, 2004)
Grizzly Park (Tom Skull, 2008)
Twilight (Catherine Hardwicke, 2008)
The Color Purple (Steven Spielberg, 1985)

Desert Island Disc Day 4 Introduction: The Redraw

Day 4 Introduction: The Redraw

So…you’re headed for a desert island. The airline whose plane is about to crash has just informed you that you overpacked, and in fact you only have room in your bag for a Discman and a single 80-minute CD-R. (I discovered last week that 80-minute CD-Rs do not, in fact, hold 80 minutes of music, but this is fantasy, right?) There’s equipment over by the check-in gate that will allow you to rip tracks from all the CDs you brought so you can burn that one Desert Island Disc…what songs do you put on it? Since May (from your perspective) and sometime in March (from mine), I have been attempting to answer that question myself, and it turned out to be a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would; after making two passes through my music collection and, upon reflection, STILL leaving a startling amount of excellent stuff out, I started off with six hundred eighty-eight pieces of music, and I’ve been eliminating via head-to-head matchups ever since.

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Rob Roy (1995): What a Scotsman Wears Under His Kilt

Rob Roy (Michael Caton-Jones, 1995)
[originally posted 6Mar2000]

photo credit: Wikipedia

So tell me, what about this poster does not say “genre historical romance” to you?

Much was said, when this came out, about how it was overshadowed by Braveheart, while being just as good a film. Surely they jest. While there’s a damn good cast assembled for this (including Jessica Lange, who’s notable for actually acting in this movie, and a curiously low-key Eric Stoltz), it doesn’t come anywhere near the depth, intensity, and majesty of its shadowbearer. Thankfully, it’s also not nearly as long. Fine if you like any of the main players, but when you take bathroom breaks, you probably won’t find yourself hitting the pause button. ***

Desert Island Disc Day 1C: Way, Way West, West Subdivision

Day 1C: Way, Way West, Round One

Day 1C Start

And here comes the west subdivision with…

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The Cursed (2010): Brother Syndrome

The Cursed (Joel Bender, 2010)

[note: review originally published 8Jan2011]

photo credit:

“Is it MY fault I have a spirograph for a mouth? But I’m gonna get all those kids who picked on me in second grade…”

You are The Cursed, if you unsuspectingly rent this looking for anything approaching a decent movie. Let me guess: you got sucked in by a couple of names that may have been big in the early nineties, James Marshall (Twin Peaks) and Costas Mandylor (Picket Fences), as well as Louis Mandylor, little brother of Costas, last seen by anything approaching a crowd in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I warn you, folks, Louis Mandylor’s name on a movie is like other big-name siblings like Frank Stallone, Clint Howard, or the ever-popular Joe Estevez. You see that name, and you should flee screaming in terror.


photo credit:

Les Bros Mandylor, reflecting on the days when either could make a living acting.

Plot: Denny White (Kickboxer 4‘s Brad Thornton) is headed back to the old homestead to get away from the big city and concentrate on writing a book about local folklore. He hooks up with his old pal Bill (Marshall) for a place to stay. While doing research he runs into hot librarian Sara (Rush Hour 3‘s Francesca Cecil), and the two of them strike up a relationship. But not long after Denny came to town, something started killing the local livestock, and Sheriff Lloyd (Louis Mandylor) and his retired-sheriff older brother Jimmy (Costas) think those two things may be related…

photo credit:

“I’ll be in it if I get paid enough to both wash the stain from my reputation AND buy a new Hyundai Equus… for CASH ON THE BARRELHEAD.”


Of course they are, in the insanely-twisted-around goofy way common to horror movies like this. You probably knew that from reading the jacket copy. (If you didn’t, sorry, but come on, you’ve seen more than three horror films in your life, right?) I’m not saying that treading the well-worn paths of the horror genre automatically means there’s no life left in a movie; it can be done enjoyably time and again, and has been on a number of occasions recently (The House of the Devil springs to mind immediately). But anything that could have possibly made this enjoyable is leached out by a cast that ranges from competent-on-their-best-day (and this was no one’s best day; ah, James Marshall, what I wouldn’t give to see you in another movie as good as Gladiator) to flat-out awful, Bender directs like a guy whose biggest previous job was Sweet Valley High: The TV Series (and surprise, surprise, it was), Martin Watson was writing his first script and it shows… you get the idea. There is very, very little to recommend this other than to say “it’s better than the recent It’s Alive remake”. Which ain’t saying much. *


Kind (2011): A Solid Ending

Holly Black, The Good Neighbors: Kind (Graphix, 2011)


photo credit: Tower Books

Getting lost in faerie… literally.

Black finishes up her Good Neighbors trilogy of graphic novels, illustrated by Ted Naifeh, with a kind of anticlimactic volume. Note that I don’t mean this in a bad way; the whole series has had that kind of off-putting feel about it. It’s risky, but since it mirrors the psyche of the series’ main character, the half-faerie high school student Rue Silver, it makes perfect sense. In this volume, the war is over, the city has been taken over by faerie, but with a number of humans, including most of Rue’s high school friends, trapped inside. There’s unrest simmering very close to the surface between the humans and the faeries, and none of the ruling faction seem to care. So when a militant human group aiming to liberate the city comes to the fore, it’s up to Rue and her closest friends to avert the apocalypse. Good stuff if you haven’t been faerie-d out, given the oversaturation of the market. Worth reading. ***