Congo (1995) / Z-View

Congo (1995)

Director: Frank Marshall

Screenplay: John Patrick Shanley based on the novel by Michael Crichton

Stars: Laura Linney, Tim Curry, Dylan Walsh, Ernie Hudson, Joe Don Baker and Stuart Pankin.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s turn Michael Crichton’s Congo into a movie!”

Tagline: Where you are the endangered species.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

A ragtag group joins forces in an effort to get into the Congo.  Two members are young guys who want to take a gorilla back to her birthplace.  The other members are on a search and rescue mission to find what happened to am earlier team that discovered a rare diamond and was wiped out.  Neither group was expecting to find killer gorillas.


The Girl on the Train (2016) / Z-View

The Girl on the Train (2016)

Director: Tate Taylor

Screenplay:  Erin Cressida Wilson based on the novel by Paula Hawkins

Stars: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney and Lisa Kudrowan.

The Pitch: “Let’s make a movie based on The Girl on the Train!”

Tagline: What you can see can hurt you.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

It’s rare for a movie to have as many unlikable characters as The Girl on the Train.  Get this, we have…

  • An alcoholic, out of work, ex-wife who rides a train daydreaming when she’s not showing up at her ex-husband’s house and scaring his wife.
  • An ex-husband who is cheating with every woman he can get his, uh, hands on.
  • A wife who gained her husband by cheating with him while he was still married.
  • A woman who is living with a man but is cheating on him with a married man.
  • An abusive man with a hair-trigger temper who is living with a woman.
  • A psychologist who is crossing the line with the sexual behavior of one of his clients.
  • Two detectives investigating a murder who seem to have no interest in solving it.

 There’s a murder.  Some red herrings are given.  What you see is not what you think you’re seeing.  The murder is solved.  One of those unlikable characters did it and gets his/her just reward.  The end.

Based on the best-selling book.


Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me Gets New Life with IDW

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson is a classic.  Written 62 years ago, The Killer Inside Me has been the subject of two film adaptations, has been a major influence on countless novelists, screenwriters, lyricists and yet has never had a comic adaptation until now.

IDW is publishing the comic adaptation of The Killer Inside Me as a comic mini-series written by Devin Faraci and illustrated by Vic Malhotra.  Faraci recently spoke with Zack Smith at Newsarama about how Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me Gets New Life with IDW.

If you’re at all interested in The Killer Inside Me‘s importance to the genre, influence on generations or what goes into creating a worthy adaptation, then this interview is for you!

Tony Todd Plays Dracula!

Bleak December Inc. has teamed with Fangoria Musik with the plan to release a series of audio adaptations of classic horror stories including Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Phantom of the Opera, and Frankenstein.

First up is Tony Todd (what a great audio choice!) as Dracula.  Click over to to listen to a trailer as Tony Todd Plays Dracula.

Rough Trade by Todd Robinson / Z-View

Rough Trade by Todd Robinson

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Polis Books

First sentence…

We were bored as ****.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Rough Trade is the sequel to Robinson’s The Hard Bounce (which I loved) featuring Boo and Junior.  Boo and Junior have been best buds since their childhood days in a group home.  Although grown, neither has really matured.  By night they are bouncers at The Cellar (a local tavern / music venue ) and by day (and nights they’re not bouncing), they hire out as security for other bars, finding runaways, or whatever will pay some bills.

When Boo is asked by a waitress at the Cellar to scare off ex-boyfriend, Byron, you know that Junior is going to tag along.  One thing leads to another and Byron is left beaten, bloody but in no danger of taking the big sleep.  So when Byron is found dead all evidence points to our boys.

The police bring Junior in for questioning and Boo knows it won’t be long before the cops will pick him up.  The clock is ticking and it is up to Boo to figure out not only why Byron was killed but who did it.  Along the way there will be beatings, shootings, mysteries and secrets revealed and a lot of fun.

Fun for the reader that is. Robinson has a unique voice and turns the tough guy cliches into humorous situations without writing down to the genre.  I loved The Hard Bounce and think Rough Trade is an even better book.


Mean Business on North Ganson Street by S. Craig Zahler / Z-View

Mean Business on North Ganson Street by S. Craig Zahler (2014)

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

First sentence…

The dead pigeon flew through the night, slapped Doggie in the face, and bounced to the ground, where its cold talons clicked across the pavement as it rolled east.


The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Detective Jules Bettinger, after mishandling a case is given the choice: resign, be fired or accept a transfer to one of the most understaffed and highest crime ridden cities in the country.  Reluctantly Bettinger accepts that transfer and moves his wife and child to his new job.

Once there Bettinger finds things worse than he could imagine.  There’s no trust between Bettinger and his new partner who may be involved in illegal activities with other cops.  When Bettinger uncovers a conspiracy to kill police officers, he and his family become targets leading to a bloody ending.

Mean Business on North Ganson Street isn’t for the faint hearted.  The violence is brutal, and often hard to stomach.  Sometimes Zahler seemed to be showing how smart he was with his word choices, but getting into the book I began to think that instead it was to highlight what a fish out of water Bettinger was.   Mean Business on North Ganson Street wont’ be everyone’s cup o’ joe, but I liked it a lot.


Omerta: A Novel (The Godfather Book 3) by Mario Puzo / Z-View

Omerta: A Novel (The Godfather Book 3) by Mario Puzo (2000)

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Random House

First sentence…

In the stone-filled village of Castellammare del Golfo, facing the dark Sicilian Mediterranean, a great Mafia Don lay dying.


The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Don Raymonde Aprile is the last of the mafia Dons.  A widower with three successful children and an adopted nephew, all in legitimate businesses and doing well, Aprile is ready to retire to a simpler life.  Yet he knows that once he steps down as Don, he puts his life and his children’s in danger.

Retiring will be seen as a sign of weakness and opportunity for those wishing to assume his position.  Aprile’s impending retirement is also forcing an FBI agent who has worked for years to bring down April to cut some corners.

An unexpected murder will set in motion the Aprile family, forces of the mafia and the FBI into one last battle.


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