Posts Tagged ‘Occult’

The Rage of Cthulhu by Gary Fry

March 23, 2017 - 7:13 pm No Comments

The Rage of Cthulhu by Gary Fry

Published by Horrific Tales Publishing on 23rd March 2017

98 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After being medically retired George and his wife decide to spend some of what time he has left travelling round the world. Starting off in the picturesque town of Whitby, George stumbles across a derelict foghorn station and whilst he investigates the damage to the building gets embroiled into a mystery of an ancient being which will follow him around the world.

Not having read HP Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu, I had no idea what this creature was or the history behind it, but after reading this story, I am curious to find out more. From the start of this story you are drawn into a secret that has not been talked about in 50 years, from listening to the two old men’s tales or reading an ancient Norwegian manuscript, you are taken on a journey around the world only stopping when George gets to his final destination. Whether it was in George’s dreams, visiting different places and seeing new cultures all this added to the mystery of the Cthulhu. The use of George’s illness makes you doubt yourself whilst you are reading it, as I kept wavering between thinking it was all in his head and thinking that he was chasing the monster down. Even finishing this book did not solve my dilemma. I had sympathy for Christine, George’s wife as I felt she was struggling between letting him investigate the mystery and believing him and worrying about his illness.

As it is a novella it is a quick read and it is a book you can finish in one sitting. The suspense builds up slowly and I had to keep reading to find out what happened. Whilst reading it I was expecting something dramatic to happen, but when it did, the descriptive way the author wrote those scenes I was imagining being with George and watching him face his demon.

A well written tale of an ancient monster, this will have you gripped to the end a good horror read.

I AM PROVIDENCE by Nick Mamatas

February 8, 2017 - 7:54 pm No Comments

I AM PROVIDENCE by Nick Mamatas. Night Shade Books, New York. $15.99 (US). 241 page paperback. ISBN: 978-1-59780-835-4

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan.

There is one kind of story that never seems to make sense. It is the first person narration of a person who turns out to be a ghost. The questions that hang over it is, who are they telling this story to, how are they telling it and who is listening? If the spirit has gone on to judgement and is having to justify their presence it becomes a different kind of story. Another kind of story that has a low success rate of being convincing is the one set at a convention, perhaps because genre readers are too familiar with them. It is almost on a par of a writer writing about a writer – we want the story, not the story of how the story was written. But like everything, sometimes you find an exception. Nick Mamatas has set his novel at a convention and the first person narrator is dead. His skill has made it work.

Although there are horror conventions with a Lovecraft theme that are held in Providence, Rhode Island, the one featured in I Am Providence is not one of them. Convention attendees may think they know people who have a resemblance to the characters in this book, but that is superficial. All conferences, whether genre, business or scientific have attendees with similar characteristics. That is to be expected. Here, the Summer Tentacular is the H.P. Lovecraft convention which draws this group of fans to the town. Most of them seem to write in, what they consider, the style of their hero. The impression given is that this is a place to have your ego stroked.

From the beginning, we know that Panossian is dead. He tells us so in the first paragraph. He is just as perplexed about the situation as a critical reader might be. He still seems to be able to think and hear. He wonders if this is a condition for all the dead and if this is a phenomenon that fades as his brain rots. What he does, as there is nothing else he is capable of, is to run through in his mind the events leading up to his murder and to try and make sense of them. He can also hear and try to interpret what is going on in the morgue. This excellently handled device keeps the plot going forward as well as filling in gaps in the narrative that only the victim would be aware of.

Paralleling, Panossian’s story, is that of Colleen Danzig. This her first Summer Tentacular and is the outsider through whose eyes we see the other, quirky characters. She appears to be an otherwise well-adjusted human. She becomes involved because, in order to save money, she is sharing a room with Panossian. They have not met before now, except on-line. Because of this, she is asked to identify the body. She is the viewpoint character in the present away from the morgue and aware of any developments in the police investigation.

The murder seems to revolve around a rare book which the author has bound in human skin. For this reason he hasn’t been able sell it on eBay, because they have a policy against auctioning body parts, and skin counts as such. Panossian was sent one of the only five in existence and has a private buyer for it, though for much of the time there is doubt over the existence of the book, or the potential transaction.

Mamatas is an author well versed in the writings and cult of H.P. Lovecraft and to add to the delight of the book, each chapter heading is the title of a Lovecraft story. The design of the book adds interest as tentacles insert themselves into the pages. And tentacles wind through the plot as the origins of the events here stretch back to a time beyond. Recommended.

Film Review – This Devil ‘Rocks’

July 11, 2011 - 12:43 am No Comments

The Devil’s Rock

Director:  Paul Campion   

Format: Limited Screenings/Virgin Filmflex

Running Time:  82 minutes

Reviewer:  Theresa Derwin

An old school supernatural/occult horror film set in WWII, The Devil’s Rock finds a small group ofNew Zealand soldiers fall upon a German Outpost onGuernsey decorated in the mangled, spattered remains of a Nazi Troop.  Entrails and intestines litter the bunker as New Zealander Ben Grogan is forced to work alongside Nazi Occult expert Klaus Meyer to banish the evil presence threatening to destroy them.

This wonderfully old school and simple premise is the foundation of a skilfully filmed horror reminiscent of classic Hammer, particularly The Devil Rides Out and other Dennis Wheatley inspired work.  Though the monster FX created by Weta is somewhat hokey due to budgetary constraints, the score is beautiful, again reminiscent of a Hammer/Amicus films. The script is sterling and the direction is also spot on.

Given the fact the film is held together in the main by three actors, who all deliver strong performances, and it runs a little short at just under 90 minutes, the pace is kept up and the tension remains fraught. We are also treated to some lovely visceral visuals, the FX here being nicely done. However, what I like most about this film is its inherent charm. Instead of a monster with bad acne and a chainsaw, we encounter a real Evil with a capital E and none of this ‘I’ll be right back’ nonsense.  

The Devil’s Rock is a fine film and deserves more than its’ limited cinema release. Apologies if it doesn’t have enough innards for torture porn freaks.  This film is a must for occult fans and fans of classic horror with an emphasis on story.