The Stand

Let’s talk about The Stand, shall we?

I am not a Stephen King aficionado. And while I love the movies based on his works, I am not even his #1 fan. I have read a few short stories, a couple of his Kindle singles, a novella, and an amazing audiobook narrated by Michael C. Hall.1 In fact, the only novel-length book I’ve read by Stephen King was his post-apocalyptic book, The Stand.

My first encounter with story came from the 1994 miniseries which aired on ABC. It starred Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, and a whole bunch of actors that I’d see on TV and movies throughout my adolescent years. While it didn’t have the best production value – it was a made-for-TV miniseries, after all – it still captivated my 11-year-old imagination. It became my gold standard for post-apocalyptic tales, especially those revolving around pandemics that wipe out humanity.

I didn’t read the book until 2009, when I found a copy at a used bookstore. This copy was a 1980, mass-market paperback which mirrored the 1978 hardcover; the only difference between the books – other than the obvious – were the date changes. In the 1978 edition, the apocalypse happed in 1980; in the paperback, the apocalypse was moved to 1985. For those not in-the-know, the 1978 edition was meant to be a much larger work; Doubleday had warned King that a book of such size would be too much for the market to bear. It wasn’t until 1990 that King’s original vision for the book came to fruition.

Continue reading “The Stand”

The Drip Finally Stops

The Walking Dead will come to a close with its 11th season. Despite all its hiccups throughout the years, I managed to turn in every Sunday to watch the show. While most fans are mourning the lost, I’m content with the news.

Season 10 followed the Whisperer War with the still-to-be-aired season finale being the final battle between our heroes and those who walk among the dead. Those who read the comics know that the Whisperers were the final conflict Rick Grimes and company faced. While the Commonwealth were a threat, they were of another nature.

It’s still unknown if Eugene and company will encounter the Commonwealth in the season 10 finale. As we have seen so far, the series takes liberties when retelling the source material’s stories. There’s still room for speculation in that aspect.

I wondered where the show runner would take the series after the Whisperer War, but I had hoped the series would come to an end somewhere in the same fashion. Of course, it will have to happen without Rick and Carl Grimes’ fate as both characters are no longer in the television series.

There was some speculation on my part that Daryl would take Rick’s storyline (and thus his fate) and have to make the toughest decision of his life: Peace through the sacrificing of someone he trusts or continuing on the path they have for the last several years.

Because there are talks that Daryl and Carol will continue having adventures in a spin-off series, it’s safe to say that he won’t have to make that choice. Though, it does leave me wondering who will.

There’s still plenty of stories to tell within The Walking Dead Universe. AMC once promised a “decade plus” of The Walking Dead, after all.

The Walking Dead season 10 finale will premiere on October 4, 2020. Following the finale, the second spin-off and limited series, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, will debut. Fear the Walking Dead’s sixth season will premiere on October 11, 2020.

Want More Walking Dead? Check out these books:

Books · Television

The Girl, the Cult, & the Boy Who Wanted His Girlfriend Back

Like most people I let my imagination run wild when I first heard about the Dark Web – the seedier side of the Internet only accessible with a special browser like TOR.

Photo by Junior Teixeira from Pexel

A simple search on YouTube will uncover creepypastas, “true” stories of people venturing into the unknown, and mystery boxes purchased on the Dark Web. You’ll hear stories of people buying narcotics, hiring hit-men, and things only meant for the most depraved – Red Rooms and more. We built a monster out it. But are surprised by this outcome? After all, it was Lovecraft who said, The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” And what is more unknown than that which lurks behind the screen?

Curiosity – as it usually does – got the better of me. Before long I was searching through online forums in order to gain access to the Hidden Wiki – an online index of some of the more popular onion sites. As the page loaded, I didn’t know what I expected. My paranoia got the better of me. I taped the lens of my laptop’s webcam before entering.

When its secrets were presented before me, it was anticlimactic to say the least. Sure the links to hit-men existed. And yes, there were sites in which you could purchase drugs – at this time, the Silk Road was still operational. Links that sent you to cannibal cookbooks and one detailing human experimenting. Marketplaces for stolen credit cards and identities. And several links leading you straight to scams. Because on the Dark Web, it’s hard to trace a conman looking for his mark – the unsuspecting noob looking for a cheap (rather expensive, actually) thrill.

Netted: A Dark Web Horror Series Box Set by K. T. Rose

I didn’t, however, find links to any red rooms, a virtual urban legend where you can watch – even participate in – a person’s torture and eventual death at the hands of a sadistic executioner. Using bitcoin, you can have a man’s eyelids sliced off and salt poured on his face as he screams in agony.

While red rooms are stuff of urban legend, in Jessica Frey’s world they have become her escape. One in particular, however: The Silent Red Room Show. From a distance, Jessica began to admire Father Paul. He filled her fantasies, the man – the butcher – behind the mask. What she wouldn’t give to be part of that world. A world where you can put those who have tormented you on the hot seat. Strap them in and watch the master fillet them to an inch of their lives for the entertainment of strangers online. But this isn’t the only dark secret Jessica Frey carries with her. There are much darkness inside her and all she needs is a mentor like Father Paul to help her set it free.

Dale Tilson, on the other hand, is looking for a new beginning. Taking the advice of his younger sister, Diane, he’s making an attempt on a second chance. Using a dating app, he meets Marla at her place. But after a drink of wine, things begin to feel wrong for Dale. And only gets worse when Marla attacks him.

And so the story begins, a three-part saga written by K. T. Rose. A story where Dale Tilson and Jessica Frey are fated to encounter Father Paul and his Silent Red Room cult. The trilogy keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, while sprinkling a few silly name brand products and restaurant names.

Currently, the trilogy – The Beginning, Inside Out, and The Crash – are currently free to read with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Or you can purchase all three as a set for $2.99.

On the other spectrum of the Dark Web, sits Moritz Zimmermann whose girlfriend, Lisa Novak, has returned from her trip abroad a completely different person. She’s hanging out with Daniel Riffert, the high school ecstasy dealer. In a brash attempt to win Lisa back, Mortiz buys – and blackmails – Daniel’s ecstasy supplier. When things go sideways, he’s only left with one thing to do – sell the drugs online. Fast.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. With a new found purpose in life, Moritz and company are thrown

One part Skins and one part Breaking Bad, How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) was a whirlwind of a series – both seasons are currently available on Netflix.

The only thing that got me on my nerves is the dubbing. Because the original series was German, the English voices and sync can be off putting. This is, of course, a superficial issue which I can ignore easily – sometimes.

While the Dark Web is shrouded in a created mystery, we can all agree that the best fruit it bears are the stories that come out of it. Until next time, keep on huntin’.


Scream: the TV Series (can I call this a) Review

“You can’t do a slasher movie as a TV series,” Noah Foster (John Karna) blurts out. The class is discussing the current gothic movement of TV shows. The Walking Dead, Hannibal, and American Horror Story are mentioned as the pioneers of the current reinvention of the old genre which started The Castle of Otranto. Noah is reminiscent of Randy from the original flicks. He knows the rules of the game. He is the geeky sidekick.

His opinion mirrors that of so many of us when MTV revealed their plans. Scream as a television show? How can this spill past a first season without boring the audience? Noah explains it. It’s not about the whodunit, as much as it is about the characters in the story. Several plot and subplot points are revealed within the first hour of this new series. We have a viral video outing of a girl. We have the estrange friendship. We have the town serial killer legend. A mother with a secret past. A new kid finding his way. A broken relationship. Two boys hacking the first victim’s computer. A student/teacher affair. And it’s almost as if we’re thrust into a teen drama that finds itself tangled with slasher flick. Because that’s what it is. Very few people admit that they watch The Walking Dead for the zombies, after all, so why should Scream be about the murders? Why can’t it stand on its own two legs?

I’ll admit I didn’t expect much from a series based on 90s slasher movies. The Scream trilogy holds a special place in my heart. What I’m walking out with is an interest in it. Will I continue watching the show? Maybe, if I remember it exists; I’m not the target audience, after all.

Post script note: I’m well aware that a fourth Scream movie exists. The fourth film, as you may remember, stands alone in the way of plot from the first three. All three original movies revolve around Mrs. Prescott’s infidelity in some shape or form. And let’s not forget that each movie is a representation of how horror movies once worked. Part one establishes the rules of a horror movie. Part two establishes the rules of a sequel to a horror movie. And part three establishes the rules of a trilogy. Part four, on the other hand, deals with remakes and how they differ from the original.


The Walking Dead


The Dead Shall Inherit The Earth


Nothing on AMC has caught my attention like The Walking Dead. Mad Men? I never gave it a chance. Rubicon? Eh, conspiracy shows aren’t my cup of tea. Breaking Bad? I wanted to get into the show, but I couldn’t divorce Bryan Cranston his Malcolm in the Middle character (I’m still working on that). And it’s not a big surprise that this series, of all the great ones that have premiered on this network, grabbed my attention. Can’t guess why? ZOMBIES, MOTHERFUCKERS!

The premiere wasn’t a let down, but it’s too early on to tell if the show will manage to remain fresh past the first season.

Change of subject: It didn’t feel much like Halloween. Jyg and I didn’t do our Halloween thing. We went to JoDi’s party last night along with Izzy, Esmer and Jerry. We headed out to a rumored haunted cemetery, but it was locked up. We built ourselves up for disappointment. No matter, the party was fun.

I started writing my little side project, hoping it sparks some more creation along the way. I’m not stating that it’ll be something worth reading, but at least it’s fun writing. Don’t ask to read it; it’s going into my vault.