Posted in americana, BOOKS, FANTASY, FILM, HORROR, TV

Into The Nightside: An Open Letter To Ryan Murphy

Into The Nightside: An Open Letter To Ryan Murphy

February 29th, 2016 | by Craig Caudill
Into The Nightside: An Open Letter To Ryan Murphy

BOOKS
0

Our Craig Caudill recently penned an open letter to one of the most successful creators out there, Ryan Murphy, of American Horror story fame.  Craig believes he has found the next great book series to adapt.

Dear Mr. Murphy:

I would like to applaud your efforts in challenging your fellow creators with diversity in a stagnant world, suffering from a cesspool of fake documentaries. It seems all one has to do these days is make one documentary about anything and insert the names Hitler, Aliens, or Bigfoot, and voila instant  lazy educational television.

That’s just one complaint I have, but I’m not here to complain.

I want to share with you a book recommendation that I hope will inspire you to create another hit TV series; The Nightside by Simon R. Green.

Nightside

Perhaps it is tremendous hubris to hope that I may be able to persuade anyone into doing anything, but I’m a desperate man when it comes to entertainment. I know life is short, but without entertainment how do we find our little slices of heaven? Entertainment is a spiritual thing for me and we learn lots of things from the content we digest, whether we know it or not.

I want to discuss a great work of fiction which I know you would just love. It oozes with diversity and enthusiasm and moves at a fast pace. I believe that you, your fans and your production team would enjoy adapting The Nightside series and that it would play extremely well on either HBO, AMC or FOX.

Each novel is short punchy, fast-paced  and full of shoot-from-the-hip prose. This isn’t about making a one time movie, I’m talking about a whole series and a vast array of colourful characters that would grow over the years.

When I wrote Simon R Green, I briefly got a response from his assistant who told me that there was going to be a show, but it ended up being cancelled.

We can change that!

Simon R Green describes The Nightside series:  “A place where dreams come true and nightmares come alive.” 

To see what I’m talking about, get the e-book and/or audio book and play a long file of ambient music while you immerse yourself into The Nightside.

The Nightside is a supernatural thriller narrated by John Taylor, a detective with super powers who only uses them when he has too. Over time, Taylor has become a target for otherworldly beings.

He finds things and solves crimes in London’s underworld where times stops at Three in the morning. Another distinction that makes him a target is that He is the son of Lilith who is notoriously the first wife of Adam. Which is not mentioned in the book of Genesis. Consult the Kabbalah. Each story is a crime of supernatural , that he has to figure out and solve. If not the repercussions of  a war between heaven and hell could break out. Each story is a crime of supernatural shenanigans, or ghostly revenge which the plot twists to find John Taylor has a price on his head and he has to figure out who wants him dead this time. Sometimes the repercussions could mean  a war between heaven and hell could break out.

So Now that I hope I have your attention. I would like to introduce to you,  your new favorite heroine. One That will be your favorite female character for years to come!

Her Name is Shotgun Suzie or Suzie Shooter a tough hired assassin body-guard or bounty hunting gun for hire. Call her what you like she’s dark mean Amazonian Sexy and decked out in black leather high heel, black leather boots and bandoliers. And did I say she was had a shot-gun. I think I did. And of course she is blond. Now I know you have a thousand women you would choose. I compliment your casting choices. God know I love Jessica Lange in AHS.  I want to bring to your attention that if you would be so bold to produce such a show or even purchase this book and begin reading it right away. My first choice for Shotgun Suzie is Kristen Johnston.

kristen-johnston-interview-harper-simons-talk-show-theliptv

For John Taylor, I was thinking about Iain Glen who played Jorah Mormont on Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones

What about Michael Pitt, who was amazing in Boardwalk Empire?

boardwalk-empire-tv-show-image-michael-pitt-600x337

 

You could have a field day casting the rest of the show.

Others Who Dwell In The Nightside:

Razor Eddie: Punk God of the Straight Razor. He’s dead, he’s punk and somehow a god, yet he’s not completely evil – just scary.

Henry Walker: A rich Tycoon who represents the authorities of the Nightside

The Collector: He collects pricesless works of art along with artifacts perceived to be mythical, like the Grail. It also a good idea point out the dangerous Rococo Robot Cats that guard his precious warehouse from art thieves.

The Collector’s most prized possession is The Speaking Gun. It’s literally a gun made of human flesh and is alive. It’s perhaps the most dangerous weapon in the world.

Alex Morrisey:  A man who owns a bar called Strange Fellows, where Merlin Satan Spawn lies dormant underneath a catacomb of the bar.

Dead Boy: A zombie that died and came back to avenge his own death, then eventually winds up doing good deeds.

Merlin Satan Spawn: He is this world’s Merlin the Magician.

The Harrowing. A collection of faceless assassins that possess anesthetic-filled hypodermic needles for fingers

The Walking Man: Who supposedly made a deal with God to righteously kill anyone who deserves to die.

This is just a sample of characters I think you’d thoroughly enjoy.

Each novel is a different adventure with a consistent ongoing story line.  The themes are good against evil, with our hero, the paranormal detective, coming to grips with his own powerful identity within the seedy underworld he watches over. It’s loaded with surprises.

I think along with American Horror Story you could turn this show into quality prime-time television.

As I watch American Horror Story, I envy your sense of the macabre. I was very pleased with the pacing in the last season, as well as the ensemble cast that just blew me away. I believe your attention to detail would do justice to The Nightside project. You’re probably the only producer with the guts to do a project like this.

I would like to congratulate you on the success of your current projects American Horror Story and American Crime Story as well.  and I applaud your moving tribute to David Bowie in Season Four’s “Freak Show”. The use of Life on Mars as a premise was brilliant.

In closing, I hope I gave you something to consider and hope to hear good news that you will make this happen one day!

 

Craig Caudill is a Contributor to ComiConverse.  Follow him on Twitter: @CraigCaudill

Posted in AUTHORS, BEARDS, BOOKS, COMICS, FANTASY, FILM, HORROR, MOVIES, TV

SPECULATIVE YAHTZEE WITH JONATHAN MABERRY

We ComiConverse With Jonathan Maberry

February 22nd, 2016 | by Craig Caudill
We ComiConverse With Jonathan Maberry

BOOKS
0

ComiConverse contributor Craig Caudill brings the second installment of his series, Speculative Yahtzee. Today he interviews noted writer and eighth degree black belt, Jonathan Maberry.

CC: What novel changed your life, and who is your favorite author?

JONATHAN MABERRY: Richard Matheson gave me a signed first edition of I Am Legend when I was thirteen. A Christmas present. That book absolutely changed my life. It’s landmark in that it’s the first novel in which hard science is used to tell a horror story. And, also, having Matheson and Ray Bradbury as mentors when I was a teen was pretty amazing. Without I Am Legend I would never have become a science geek and would never have written the Joe Ledger series or most of my other science-based horror and thriller novels.

CC: Do you think Wonder woman is sexy, specifically Lynda Carter, and why?

JM: First, I was a Marvel kid, so Wonder Woman wasn’t on my radar until the TV show came on in 1975. I was seventeen. There is not one straight carbon-based male life form who was not in love with Lynda Carter. Anyone who denies it is lying.

CC: You are a super hero, what is your name, power, and costume? Who is your Arch Enemy?

JM: My super power is flight. I used to fantasize about it while sky-diving. (Luckily I’d come to my senses and pull the ripcord!). I would not, under any circumstances, wear skin-tight spandex. Trust me on this. My costume would be a baggy flight suit with cool insignias My enemy would be a villain called Flak who tried to shoot me down.

Special Ops


CC: What is your preference, cosplay or LARPing?

JM: Cosplay. I am a huge fan. I did a bit of it in the past, mostly in zombie crawls. I have friends who LARP, but I haven’t participated. So far.

CC: Can you name a trendy drink named after a superhero?

JM: Even though I’m a Marvel guy, I’m partial to a drink called The Dark Knight. Vodka, black raspberry liqueur, a lemon twist and served in a martini glass. Trendy yet very cool.

CC Who is your favorite villain?

JM: Doctor Doom, but written with subtlety and restrain. The way Lee and Kirby did him in the late sixties. An aristocrat, not a raving lunatic. I tried to capture that vibe in my Marvel miniseries DoomWar.

Jonathan-Maberry

CC: Are vampires ruined and not scary anymore or just played out?

JM: Vampires, like zombies and werewolves, can be comical but they can always be made scary again. Twilight made them romantic and Count Chockula made them funny, but books like The Strain and my own V-Wars series bring back old school badass vampires.

CC: Could we Co-exist with vampires in a True Blood scenario?

JM: Society will panic and people will flip out –for a while, but then things would settle down. What you’d have, tough, would be an immediate political battle between right and left wings. Always. No matter what the controversial issue is.

CC: Are you high on V right now? 

JM: Not anymore. It wears off. I bring myself down to earth with a nice, cold Dark Knight cocktail.

CC: Stephen Hawking has warned everyone not to interact with aliens. However if you suddenly meet one. what would you talk to him about?

JM: Logistics. How the hell did they travel so far and why the hell did they come here? They’re reasonable questions.

CC: Do you believe in Life on other worlds? 

Jonathan Mabery novelization of The Wolfman

JM: I do. But I don’t pretend to know what it’ll be like.

CC: Did you cry when E.T. Died?

JM: I did, and I’m man enough to admit it.

CC: Roger Moore or Sean Connery?

JM: Sean Connery. The Bond in the books was a cruel bastard. Roger Moore always seemed too genteel.

CC: Does working for Rotor-Rooter qualify anyone to be an expert on the paranormal?

JM: I should think so. There’s some very weird shit down there.

CC: Do you fear a zombie reality?

JM: No. But I do think that a plague scenario is more likely than is comfortable.

CC: If your significant other was a zombie would you let them eat you?

JM: Nope. I would be merciful but not suicidal.

CC: If someone you knew was made out of chocolate would you eat them?

JM: In a heartbeat. And pour some wine to go with it, because chocolate goes great with coffee. And enough wine would soothe my remorse for eating a friend.

CC: If there was an election now between Emperor Kang Vs Emperor Kodos who would you vote for?

JM: I’m Team Kodos all the way.

CC: Who would win in fight Sawyer from Lost or Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead?

JM: Daryl would cheat, so…him. He also takes a better punch than Sawyer.

CC Same question but the original Ricardo Montalban, Wrath of Kahn vs Benedict Cumberbatch in the Star Trek reboot?

JM: Ricardo was badass, but Cumberbatch was more restrained and calculating. So…Cumberbatch.

CC OK, True or False: There is only one Batman, Adam West?

JM: False. Sue me, but I have high expectations for Ben Affleck. The thing is, much as I enjoyed the old Batman show, I generally don’t like campy versions of super heroes. I like dark, edgy, and as realistic as the subject matter allows. It’s why I liked Christian Bale and why I will probably dig Affleck,

CC: Okay, Big Foot is now discovered he’s booked on your talk show, but everything he says is outdated, racist, sexist, and Homophobic…but he’s Big Foot. How would you handle this situation?

JM: I’d want to kick his hairy ass. Being a legendary monster doesn’t excuse that kind of behavior. Or, I might get him rocked on Dark Knight cocktails and try to talk sense to him.

CC: What superhero would you like to portray?

JM: Reed Richards or T’Challa (I know, bad casting choice, me being a white guy). Those are my two favorite heroes. Tough and smart.

CC: Big Foot, Chuck Norris and Danny Trejo are in a room. A brawl breaks out. Who is the last man standing when it’s over?

JM: I hate Chuck’s politics but he used to be a superb fighter. And I knew him. He’d kick Big Foot’s ass. Danny is great, but he’s an actor. Now, if the question was Chuck Norris or Machete…then, Machete, clearly.

.CC: Ok, seriously, the last question. How has moving changed your writing better worse and what surprises await your fans  

JM: I get to sit at my desk and watch whales and dolphins outside my window. That is a measure of what my writing career has done for me and my family. I grew up dirt poor in the inner city.

The 8th Joe Ledger book, Kill Switch, comes out in April. Other new releases include the anthologies I edited, The X-Files: The Truth is Out There, V-Wars: Night Terrors and Out of Tune Vol II. And my 2nd middle grade novel, The Nightsiders: Vault of Shadows, debuts in a few months. Plus my first board game just came out, V-Wars: A Game of Blood and Betrayal.

Jonathan Maberry edited Z-Files volume

Jonathan Maberry Essentials:

NY Times Bestseller and 5-time Bram Stoker Award winner

The Nightsiders Bk 1: The Orphan Army – Simon & Schuster

Rot & Ruin Series- Simon & Schuster

The Joe Ledger Thrillers-  now in development by Lone Tree Entertainment and Vintage Picture Company

Bad Blood – from Dark Horse Comics

X-FILES: a series of all-new anthologies  from IDW Publishing
V-WARS: IDW -anthology and comics; now in development for TV

Ghostwalkers – A Deadlands novel from TOR

Website & Blog: www.jonathanmaberry.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jonathanmaberry

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jonathanmaberry

IMDB: http://www.imdb.me/jonathanmaberry

Posted in FANTASY, FILM, HORROR, MOVIES, TV

CRIMSON PEAK REVIEW

Film Review: Crimson Peak

February 15th, 2016 | by Craig Caudill
Review of: Crimson Peak
Price:
Exciting
Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On February 15, 2016
Last modified:February 15, 2016

Summary:

Guillermo Del Toro’s latest film, Crimson Peak, is a horror film with thrills, twists, strong acting, and an exciting bloody conclusion. The cast is lead by a delightful Tom Hiddleston who is equal parts charming and creepy.

ComiConverse Contributor Craig Caudill reviews Guillermo Del Toro’s latest film, Crimson Peak.

My first reaction to viewing Guillermo Del Toro’s latest work, Crimson Peak, was that it was either the sequel to 28 Days or Devil’s Back Bone. Right now, I’m not sure. All I can say is, it’s a glorious blur. But the impression has left a mark on me to last a life time. After watching Del Toro’s latest supernatural thriller, I am reminded of the Simpsons episode where Montgomery C. Burns is itching to have a biopic film of himself. He tells Mr. Smithers “Get me Steven Spielberg.” Mr. Smithers reminds him that Spielberg would be unavailable. To which Mr. Burns says, “Fine, then get me his cheaper Mexican equivalent.” I’m paraphrasing here, but I think Mr. Burns would have been happy with the results if he hired Mr. Del Toro.

Quick Take

Crimson Peak worked on many levels. It was an edgy film complete with nods to silent era scene transitions, slightly steam punk gadgets, and optic photography wall projections. I often feel I’ve seen it all and read it all. In a world were production companies rely heavily on pop cultural referencing as a safety net or crutch, Del Toro handles his subject matter with more nuance. There is no Tarantino-esque dialog or endless references to Star Wars. In Crimson Peak, I feel as if he is creating his own frame of reference while drawing on the aesthetic of Jane Austin. Based on this film, I would love to see Del Toro’s take on a space opera like Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers. I feel he would maintain the old swash buckling of matinee theatre, with a modern twist rather than creating a hyper-CGI remake.

The Story

Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing in Crimson Peak, directed by Guillermo Del Toro.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Crimson Peak is about a young woman, Edith Cushing, who dreams one day of becoming a writer.  She is specifically interested in ghost stories and all thing that go bump in the night. In her dreams she is visited by a ghost, and throughout the whole movie. Which we shall find out later.

Unfortunately for Edith, she is a female writer in an era when many women writers were not taken seriously. Edith is discriminated against because of her penmanship, which is deemed too florid. Her next course of action is to switch to a typewriter.  Eventually, Edith finds herself being courted by a smooth British gentleman, Thomas Sharpe, played by Tom Hiddleston, best known for his turn as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sharpe is visiting America with his sister to try and secure funding for a clay mining invention.

Soon after, we find Edith being wooed after her father’s passing. Though his death is ruled accidental, it comes after he refuses Thomas Sharpe and his sister Lucille money for the invention. Edith is whisked away by Thomas to England to live with him and his sister in a castle, which appears to ooze a red clay substance. I will refrain from going into too much detail here to avoid spoilers, however, I will say: spectral warnings, Thomas’ money troubles, his easy manner with women, and his (too?) close connection to his sister combine to create the foundation for the film’s bloody climax.

Charlie Hunnam: A Bit Out of Place

Charlie Hunnam, best known for his role as Jax in Sons of Anarchy, as Dr. Alan McMichael in Crimson Peak.

Credit: Universal Pictures

I also want to mention Charlie Hunnam, best know for his portrayal of Jax in Sons of Anarchy. Hunam portrays Edith’s childhood friend, Dr. Alan McMichael. While Hunnam is a fine actor, he does not seem to fit in the time period of the movie. Hunnam did not have an easy time making this film. He had already accepted the role in Crimson Peak when he was offered the lead in Fifty Shades of Grey. Part of the reason he left Fifty Shades was because he had already committed to Crimson PeakThough I don’t feel he was right in this role, I loved his work on Sons of Anarchy and hope that he finds more work that suits him better.

Since I don’t want to spoil anything from this movie, which has more than a few twists and turns, I just want you to prepare yourself for a good flick. I was impressed with the steam punk gadgets and the fact that they didn’t feel like an overload. I particularly enjoyed the gramophone player and another device which played recorded journal entries of people important to the story.

Overall, this was a great film. I’m always excited to see what Del Toro is up to. I’ve read his Strain novels, which were awesome, and I can’t wait for the second season of that show. I will also be looking for his next projects, like the long awaited Carnival Row which will be coming out soon on Amazon. Based on how well Del Toro engaged with the texture of an era while retaining his fresh directorial perspective inCrimson Peak, I can’t wait to see what he does with Pinocchio. That should be very strange.

Craig Caudill is a contributor to ComicConverse. Follow him on twitter: @craigcaudill