Pet Sematary Review

Released on April 5th, this most recent adaptation of the Stephen King novel opened in second place at the box office, making approximately twenty-five million dollars domestically, clearing it’s twenty-one million dollar budget. While a commercial success to be sure, does the film succeed to be an adaptation of the novel that King himself has said is the book that scares him to most? I don’t think it does, especially when one considers that there is already an adaption of this film, albeit thirty years old now, that does successfully put the nihilist novel on the screen.

Starring Jason Clarke (Mudbound, Zero Dark Thirty), Amy Seimetz (Get Shorty, Stranger Things), and John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun, Interstellar), the film tells the tale that horror fans know well, a family moves to home in Maine, and on that property is a local landmark, a pet cemetery, spelled “sematary” on the handmade sign. Beyond that, however, and still on the land they bought is another place, where if the dead are buried in that accursed soil, they are returned to life, but wrong, violent and cruel.

It’s hard to not spoil a movie based on a nearly forty-year-old book that already has an adaptation that is three decades old and a sequel of its own, but this version does twist things up, some for the better. The film itself feels streamlined, they cut characters, switched up which things happen to which characters, but for all of that, there is still a lot of fat on this movie, and as it is only a hundred minutes in length, there’s not all that much room for the chaff.

It spends nearly three-quarters of it’s run time setting up the strange and otherness of the house, Seimetz’s character’s trauma with death, and the history of the place, though with only vague mentions of the ancient Native American burial ground and its curse, a welcome change. Their cat, Church, dies at what could be described as the end of the first act if I believed that this movie followed a three act structure, but it really doesn’t. Their daughter, in this version, dies with about twenty minutes left, and the third act barely has any denouement to speak of.

I did find the ending, which is different from the novel, interesting and makes me think about the implications of it in a different way than the novel did, and in that, I think the movie makes a better choice than the book, but I don’t have much else good to say about the film.

It makes choices I would not have, from building the tension in the movie almost entirely off of jump scares, and a half of them from things that don’t matter. Furthermore, there are so many strings that don’t become part of the final knot of the plot. The masked kids that appear in the trailer don’t mean anything, nor does any part of the faint traces of the burial ground origin. Once the child is dead and resurrected, we spend no time with her. The cat was around for longer. If we spent more time exploring how corrupted whatever dark power behind the cemetery, I think that would have been a better use of the film’s time.

All things considered, for those who only know the premise of Pet Sematary through cultural osmosis or are just horror movie fans, this one may be fun. Stephen King fans may or may not enjoy the things that had been changed, and may question why does this movie exist when is already been adapted, and well to boot. I can’t answer those thoughts, but I’m not sure that Pet Sematary is worth a watch.

Pet Sematary is open wide in theaters.

David Castro is a Puerto Rican writer from New York City. He has worked on the upcoming Undead supplement for Chill Third Edition and is working on launching a Patreon. You can find him on Twitter (@theinkedknight), on Tumblr (thedevilsyouknew), on Facebook (facebook.com/inkstainedstudios), and at davidrcastro.com.

Fan’s Pricing Saturday for April 6, 2019

Fan Pricing Saturday

 

(Note:  We request the price changes from Amazon on Friday afternoons. Unfortunately, they don’t change all of the prices at one time. Please double check the price before clicking “Buy”.)

All 4 of these new releases are 99c for one day only! 
However, they are also available in Kindle Unlimited!
Grab them today before the prices go up!

 

The Triumphant Daughter

5:35 AM update: (At some point overnight The Triumphant Daughter disappeared from Amazon US.  We’re working with them to resolve the problem.  If you click on the link and see the book, it’s been fixed.  If you get a page not found, it’s still not working. We apologize for the problem.)  

The Watcher

One Crazy Machine

The Queen’s Daughter

 

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New Audiobooks This Week Featuring Tabitha, Nickie, Katie and Pandora

Four of Michael Anderle’s most loved characters return in audio this week with two new releases.

Sit Down Shut Up And Pull The Trigger

First up, is Emily Beresford performing book four of the Protected By The Damned Series, Sit Down Shut Up And Pull The Trigger, and yes, the lack of punctuation in the title is intentional.

Sometimes, you have to let the top down and your hair fly free.

Especially when you spent so much time, money and effort to buy a fake ID.

T’Chezz is working on an attack, but the team doesn’t know about it.

After the successful fight in Los Angeles, Katie and Pandora are letting their hair down, arguing over donuts and how much Italian food to eat.

Then, their investigator contact calls with alarming intel, and Katie is asked to get up close and personal with the politician to find out what he knows.

The answer is something no one expected and will change the course of Korbin’s Killers forever.

Grab your copy at Audible in the US here:  Audible US

Grab a copy at Audible in the UK here:  Audible UK

Or you can grab a copy through Amazon or iTunes.

Rampage

And Ranger Tabitha and Nickie return with book two of the Deuces Wild series from Michael and Ell Leigh Clarke, Rampage, performed by Kate Rudd.

Returning to find most of the colony slaughtered, Nickie flies into a rampage and goes off to kill the Skaines who did this.

Then, at her darkest hour, she learns a valuable lesson about herself, and the true nature of retribution.

Meanwhile, her Aunt Tabitha works on her own unique methods for cleaning up the universe. With Ryu beside her, she mis-adventures herself and her Tontos through the seedy underside of Karkat to get their man.

In the end, she also has to admit to what she learned alongside “Ryotoshi”.

Join Nickie, and The Kurtherian Gambit’s original Ranger Two, Tabitha, on a rip-roaring, bar-brawling adventure to save the frontier from slavery, arms dealing and the Skaines of the universe.

Grab your copy at Audible in the US here:  Audible US

Grab a copy at Audible in the UK here:  Audible UK

Or you can grab a copy through Amazon or iTunes.

You can also purchase this and other audiobooks in the Deuces Wild series directly from the LMBPN audio store, here.

Twilight Zone Review

Dropping on April’s Fools Day, the first two episodes of a reimagined The Twilight Zone are now available on CBS’s streaming service, CBS All Access. Putting such a popular science fiction property on their paid service, having done so already with their prequel Star Trek: Discovery. By offering well sought after shows on their paid service that might have otherwise failed, CBS has made sure that they are a name to remember alongside the giants Netflix and Hulu. This version of the show features new master of horror Jordan Peele in the Rod Sterling presenter role, delivering the iconic intro and outros that The Twilight Zone are known for, and is just as good as any of the episodes from the original run.

Beware, there are some spoilers in what follows.

The first season drops with the first pair of episodes, one completely new, and the other a take on a classic episode. “The Comedian”, the first of the pair, stars Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley), Amara Karan (The Night of), Diarra Kilpatrick (The Last O.G), and Tracy Morgan. It follows Nanjiani, playing the titular Samir Wassan, whose political observations don’t go over well at the club. Morgan, as the famous comedian J.C. Wheeler, who offers Wassan advice. Be more personal in his performance and the crowd will eat it up, but beware, what you give up will be gone forever. Following that advice, he realizes that it’s true, but at a terrible cost, and he must decide what he’s willing to do to be successful.

As a start for the new series, “The Comedian” is a solid double. Not quite a home run, as the twist is obvious from the set up, and by the end, both Nanjiani’s and Morgan’s acting becomes a touch too hammy for my personal tastes, but while I saw it coming, how it was executed was excellent, and seeing such a diverse cast, nearly all named character in the episode was a person of color, including Kilpatrick’s Didi, a black lesbian. It made for a delightful watch, and a great way to begin the series.

“Nightmare at 30,000 Feet”, a modern retelling of the classic episode starring William Shatner from 1963, is the second episode. This version of the tale follows anxiety-ridden investigative journalist Justin Sanderson, played by Adam Scott (Pretty Little Liars, Parks and Recreation), who gets on a plane to Tel Aviv, finding an MP3 player with a podcast loaded onto it, voiced by the host of the amazing podcast Hardcore History, Dan Carlin, which describes in the past tense, the disappearance of the very plane they’re on. Again, the episode is a solid double, as how Scott plays off of the podcast portelling his doom was a little too smooth, he too read to believe a podcast on an antiqued device he just happened to find was accurate, and the episode bounces from possible cause to cause of the crash without sitting with any of them long enough for them to be believable. At the same time, however, “Nightmare” is filled with callbacks to the episode it’s based on, and while everyone knows how the plane crash comes about, based on the actions of the person trying to stop it, the final twist at the end I didn’t see coming, and was interesting.

Each week, beginning on the 11th, new episodes will drop on CBS All Access on Thursdays. Personally, I do not enjoy the once weekly release these streaming services use for some of their shows. When I watch a show on a format like streaming, I want to be able to watch it at my leisure. The once weekly formatting, especially for an anthology format where each episode is standalone, waiting seems like an echo of a largely bygone era.

All in all, these first two episodes were fun to watch, and I can’t wait to see the others and report back once the season is through. With Jordan Peele attached to the series, I faith that the stories will be more than up to snuff.

The Twilight Zone is now streaming on CBS All Access, and on CBS.com

David Castro is a Puerto Rican writer from New York City. He has worked on the upcoming Undead supplement for Chill Third Edition and is working on launching a Patreon. You can find him on Twitter (@theinkedknight), on Tumblr (thedevilsyouknew), on Facebook (facebook.com/inkstainedstudios), and at davidrcastro.com.

Wild Wednesday for April 3, 2019 is HERE!

Wild Wednesday

 

Each week we will be bringing you a list of books from not only LMBPN authors, but also friends of ours, that are on sale! Here’s a fantastic opportunity to discover some new authors or some exciting books you may not have seen yet.

 

Most of these books are FREE in Kindle Unlimited and are also on sale today.

Please remember to double check the price before you one-click.

 

Forgotten Gods Boxed Set
Collar and Chain
Catalyst
Free Trader 1
Portal
The Forever Man – On a Kindle Countdown Deal

 

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It’s Time for Fan’s Pricing Saturday, March 30, 2019

Fan's Pricing Saturday

 

(Note:  We request the price changes from Amazon on Friday afternoons. Unfortunately, they don’t change all of the prices at one time. Please double check the price before clicking “Buy”.)

All 3 of these new releases are 99c for one day only! Plus there are 2 bonus books today! 1 is even FREE!
However, they are also available in Kindle Unlimited!
Grab them today before the prices go up!

 

Upgrade
Testing
Trading Close to Light
Catalyst
Welcome to the Age of Magic – FREEBIE

 

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Are You Ready For The March 27th Wild Wednesday??

Wild Wednesday Deals

 

Each week we will be bringing you a list of books from not only LMBPN authors, but also friends of ours, that are on sale! Here’s a fantastic opportunity to discover some new authors or some exciting books you may not have seen yet.

 

All of these books are FREE in Kindle Unlimited and are also on sale today.

Please remember to double check the price before you one-click.

 

Apocalypse Paused Boxed Set 1

Daniel Codex Boxed Set

Alpha Class

Waking Magic

Storm 

Stolen Trinkets

 

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Movie Review: Us

Following his spectacular solo debut with 2017’s hit Get Out, Jordan Peele returns with another horror film that he wrote, produced, and directed himself with Us. Staring Black Panther alums Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, the movie follows a family, hunted by dark mirrors of themselves. While this movie is amazing, just as great as Get Out was, what it has to say is less blunt and obvious, and thus, might not be as clear to moviegoers, but please be rest assured, Us has as much to say as his previous film.

There are spoilers to follow, beware.

More than anything else, Us showcases how amazing of an actress Nyong’o is. In a film where all the characters must play double duty as themselves and a monstrous version of themselves, Nyong’o’s twin performances really show you how skilled she is, and with hopes, leads to her getting more leading roles in the future. On the other hand, while Duke gives a perfectly fine performance and is passing as a sort-of lame dad, the tenor is voice takes to do an American accent make him seem as though Duke is doing an admittedly not terrible Jordan Peele impression throughout. While it was amusing and his character provided the much-needed levity that horror so often requires but fewer filmmakers forget, how much he sounded like a Key & Peele character was distracting.

What makes Us amazing is the same thing that, to me, made Get Out great, Peele’s dedication to world building. Both, on top of the obvious horror/thriller motifs, have a strong science fiction vibe to them. Both films have a world and backstory bigger than the events of the film itself, and both have many unanswered questions, but unlike Get Out, where Peele went in depth about the history of the group, the director has come out saying that he won’t be doing the same for Us. We, the fans of this amazing movie, will have to take what we will from the evidence he put down and figure out what all these things mean on our own.

The world Peele presents in Us is one in which some organization has cloned every American in the hopes to be able to control their actions by a connection through the clone, but the experiment fails. The clones are identical, but without souls, and are connected, but the connection only goes one way, the things the originals do and experience are mirrored in their bestial clones. Abandoned in the hundreds of miles of abandoned tunnels that, according to text shown at the start of the film, exist under all of America, these clones, or Tethers, form vicious relationships with the clones of those of us who pair in the overworld, until the start of ‘The Untethering’, when they come above ground to cause mayhem and murder.

Nyong’o’s character, Adelaide, saw another version of herself, what we find out is her Tether, as a child, and has been afraid of her for her entire life, these fears coming true when her Tether and the Tether versions of her husband and children, invade their home and assault them. This dark mirror explains how everything that has happened to Adelaide in her life happened to her, but worse, meeting her husband that she doesn’t love but has to be with because it’s who her original loves, having children with him, and having to perform a c-section on herself because that’s what happened when their son was born. Escaping them, Adelaide and her family flee to their friend’s home, only to find that they were already murdered by their Tethers, and that this is not an isolated incident, but happening all over Santa Cruz, the corpses piling high.

Eventually, we learn the ultimate twist of the film. Throughout the film, we get scenes of her childhood, going through therapy to help with the trauma of getting lost and seeing her other self as a child, which caused her to be mute for a time. We learn that, in fact, when she saw her Tether that day, the clone incapacitated her and trapped her in the realm of the Tether, replacing her in the normal world, and that the version of Adelaide we’ve rooted for the whole film, was the clone all along.

The twist is, in and of itself, been done in body double media before, but how it was done, how the movie reveals it, is what makes it amazing, as well as Nyong’o’s performance as both characters, makes me wonder if the film wants me to pity the Tethers, as it is not their fault that they are what they are, regardless of what they did, while Adelaide being one who escaped and was not violent until forced to give me the sense of a nature versus nurture element to this all. Should I, as a viewer, root for the victims who are privileged in comparison to the violent attackers who are a literal underclass and are starting what could be thought of as a revolution against those who oppressed them? You can take from the film what you want, but I choose to believe that these things are muddy, purposefully so, as regardless of how hostile and animalistic these others, the Tethers are, as ‘Red’ the crimson-suited villainous Nyong’o character says in the film, Americans.

Us is in theaters wide everywhere.

David Castro is a Puerto Rican writer from New York City. He has worked on the upcoming Undead supplement for Chill Third Edition and is working on launching a Patreon. You can find him on Twitter (@theinkedknight), on Tumblr (thedevilsyouknew), on Facebook (facebook.com/inkstainedstudios), and at davidrcastro.com.

 

Welcome to Fan’s Pricing Saturday!

Fan's Pricing Saturday

 

(Note:  We request the price changes from Amazon on Friday afternoons. Unfortunately, they don’t change all of the prices at one time. Please double check the price before clicking “Buy”.)

All 7 of these new releases are 99c for one day only! However, they are also available in Kindle Unlimited!
Grab them today before the prices go up!

 

Can’t Touch This

Witch of the Federation

Superdreadnought 5

The Cursed Isles

The Dark Princess

One Crazy Rescue

Magic Ops

 

If you see this message after March 23rd and want to be notified of future price promotions, please sign up for our email list at www.lmbpn.com/email

When The Series Cover Model Reads Your Book

Alexandra Pîngulescu is the cover model for all eight books in the Rise of Magic series from CM Raymond, LE Barbant, and Michael Anderle.  She was kind enough to send us these photos so we could see exactly what it looks like when your series cover model reads a book with her face on the cover.  Thanks Alexandra!

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