Thursday, 18 December 2014

Seasonal thanks scifi, horror people, cheerleaders and machines.

So that's it for this year. Thank you all for following my blog, reading my film comments  (they are not  reviews, everyone has their own taste like women/men, wine and music) and reading my news. To-date this blog has had 128,205 hits!

Next year the 2nd Editions of my top 40 ebooks Blood Hunger (#13 unlucky for some) and Dead Pulse (#39) will be released.  

It's been a great year for my scifi The Final Version, with it reaching #12 in the Cyber Punk ebook chart. 

The music video I directed (packed with scifi references, see how many you can spot) has had 3,550 views to date, be warned it gets a little bloody towards the end -check it out here:  

Thank you all for following my blog, reading my books and watching my videos - I really appreciate it. Be safe, have a fantastic seasonal time and have a very merry Christmas.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Dead Pulse Zombies Return! The 2nd edition

Dead Pulse ranked in the top 40 horror eBook chart and went out of print Halloween just past. Those who have been keeping tabs my zombie novel I thank you, especially those who have read it.

With the publishing industry in its roller-coaster evolving state it makes sense for me not to go with a publishing house for the second edition of Dead Pulse. Jumping through the book markets/convention hoops has lost its fun and appeal. Also given the offers so far it would mean the novel’s 2nd edition would not be published until (at the earliest) February 2016. Going independent possibly means a Spring- Summer 2015 release and having the control and perks I have with The Final Version. It avoids the publishing house pitfalls and issues that I’ve encounter with a smaller independent publishers.

Dead Pulse is having a minor re-edit (with the help of a top individual) correcting some issues sadly missed with the 1st edition (it happens to the best) and adding some beats so that the entire book meshes seamlessly. You see, when the first publishing option ended, I realised that I am not the same writer I was ten years ago when I first sat down at my word processor and put my faith in other editors and indie horror publishers for Dead Pulse. After Blood Hunger, The Final Version and my film work I am now a more seasoned author. I’m looking forward to offering Dead Pulse reinvigorated and refined.

In addition, I hope to add new original cover artwork which I’m currently on the hunt for (artists get in touch you may have something great and suitable in a draw). The result hopefully will be a different reading experience.

Dead Pulse will be initially sold at first as an early bird numbered, personalised and signed copy via myself direct. Only 500 copies are being printed at first and each book will be hand numbered in sequential order, personalised with a message of your choice and signed. Once the books are sold out, that is it. If you would like purchase a copy keep following on twitter @amesmonde or follow the blog as I’ll be posting details on how to reserve a copy next year.

That’s all folks

A. M.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Autómata more emotion than easy action

An insurance agent at a robotics company makes a discovery that has profound consequences for his family, A.I and the human race.

Director Gabe Ibañez offers a mix of high concept and subtle thought provoking science fiction. Autómata while having a sprinkling of explosions and shootout moves away from the Terminator-esque killer Robots, inevitably comparison can be drawn to the likes of The Machine, Hardware, Blade Runner, Silent Running and I-Robot to name a few but Ibañez offering has its own atmosphere. It's underlining slow burning tension drives it, refreshingly the clunky robots feel more real than today's saturated CGI driven movies and works in the films favour.

It leaves the impression of being a small and personal tale. It's superbly filmed with sweeping wasteland locations in contrast to the holographic adverts and crowded city streets that Jacq (Antonio Banderas' character) walks with trepidation. The old soundtrack tunes are fitting, harking back to a time long forgotten which compliments the score and sound design. 

The casting is as deverse as the scifi elements,  Tim McInnerny plays against typecast as the corporate villain. Banderas delivers a perfect washed up Jacq, with Dylan McDermott, Melanie Griffith and Robert Forester putting in fitting extended cameo performances. The stars of the show are the elusive robots themselves that tug at the heart strings as Jacq comes to terms with that these Robots may be more than just parts.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Jessabelle (2014)

Returning to her childhood home to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle after finding some VHS tapes made by her deceased mother comes face to face with a mysterious spirit seeking vengeance.

Director Kevin Greutert offers an interesting deep south Louisiana chiller, in the vein of Angel Heart and the Skeleton Key to name a few. The slow burning mystery's special effects are excellently executed and there are plenty of jump scares. Notable are Mark Webber and Sarah Snook as Jessabelle. Chris Ellis gives a strong cameo as Sheriff Pruitt and David Andrews (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) gives a solid performance as Jessabelle's Dad Leon.

Even with some surprise deaths those familiar with the genre will have guessed writer Ben Garant's twist by the third act. But the novel idea of a mother making video tapes for her unborn child Jessabelle, then Jessabelle now a grown up watching them with her mother (who has since passed away) giving her daughter information via the tapes is a creepy and emotional idea.

With an abrupt tagged on closing the meat of Jessabelle has been seen before and it loses its originality and scare factor by the ends reveal. That said, Greutert's film is great looking with an eerie atmosphere that is lacking in so many horrors of late.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Equalizer busy equalizing

Helpful gentleman Robert McCall is a retired black ops government operative who after befriending a young woman goes head to head with the Russian Mafia.

Antoine Fuqua's The Equalizer is stylishly violent with both Denzel Washington as Robert McCall and Marton Csokas putting in tense and excellent performances. Harry Gregson-Williams score complements the dreary mood but lacks Stewart Copeland's signature theme Busy Equalizing.

Mirroring the recent Sherlock Holmes (2009) in terms of fighting logic this offering is more reminiscent of the Get Cater (2000) than The Equalizer 80s TV series. Writer Richard Wenk and Fuqua's drop nods to Woodward's McCall a silhouette, his ingenuity and stone cold shootings but it's comparable to Ridley Scotts Robin Hood (2010) being an almost The Equalizer prequel, in terms of how/why he becomes The Equalizer.

Overall, put against Fuqua's own Training Day (2001) written by David Ayer or in terms of being a film based on 1985-89 The Equalizer it falls short. That said, as an atmospheric revenge action it's wonderfully filmed highly entertaining and worth watching for Csokas performance alone.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Bigfoot Exists

Five vacationers find themselves terrorised by a disgruntled and legendary Sasquatch.

As a POV film it's finely executed by one of the godfathers of modern POV films director Eduardo Sánchez. However, given that there's been so many POV films since its debatably needless when you have the likes of the Rec series to contend with. 

The clips and trailers steal surprise shock and value so avoid if possible. Yes it's another cabin in the wood horror as the group are picked off but it does build to a satisfactory conclusion unlike acclaimed Witch Project which built up to a single scare as copied by The Paranormal Activity series.The acting is solid especially from Chris Osborn's main character Brian but are not as rounded or fleshed out as in the low budget The Battery (2012). The effects, make up and costume are first rate and story wise it will certainly appease big foot fans. 

Script aside thanks to the (predicable yet fulfilling) story and Brian Steele who plays the creature, it's possibly the most defining bigfoot /sasquatch film to date but bare in mind the majority of sub genre is as reliable as bigfoot sightings themselves.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Conjuring a spin off - Annabelle

A doll possessed by a dead woman and demon threatens a young couple with a newborn baby.

Where as the Conjuring borrowed from many other horrors but stood on its own (the spin off) Annable falls shy, that said Director John R. Leonetti offers a slick period filmed chiller and the special effects are first class. 

It borrows much from the likes of Magic, Child's Play, The Omen, The Exorcist and The Entity to name a few. For a B film concept the acting is above par, Annabelle Wallis' Mia Form is convincing and the introduction of the Demonic harassment aspect plays out well, with Tony Amendola as Father Perez giving the proceedings weight. Written by Gary Dauberman, there's the obligatory woman who knows about spirits and the all knowing detective.

Leonetti effectively builds up some tension, yes it's creepy, mostly thanks to some heavy sound design jump scares and eerie figures, there's a notable lift and stairwell set up, but none of which really involve Annable. 

In a nutshell there's scarier doll films out there, it's not as encompassing as its parent film but this is a good way to spend your time until the Conjuring 2.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

The End of my horror this Halloween

In time for my favorite time of year, early I know but we've already put the Halloween decorations up in my home!

The rights to both vampire thriller Blood Hunger and zombie chiller Dead Pulse have reverted back to myself. After this Halloween the novels will become unavailable.

They possibly may be resurrected in second editions depending on publishers. While the first editions satisfy, in retrospect their not as polished from an editing standpoint as I would have wished but no use crying over spilt milk. Still they're entertaining horror travel reads. Even the industry's big players are feeling the pinch and its difficult for the most seasoned authors to earn a crust so I'm not holding my breath for the novels to be picked up.

All is not lost in a shallow grave my sci-fi novel The Final Version is being well received. Again thank you for reading, thank you for your support and have fantastic Halloween.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Battery

;Two friends keep on the move through remote locations to avoid zombie hordes.

Director, writer and actor Jeremy Gardner delivers a break out zombie film that isn't heavily reliant on zombie action set ups but captures character and atmosphere. 

Where as many low budget zombie films have poor execution or find it hard to meet expectations, trying to be bigger than they are or come across pretentious The Battery knows it's limits and is self aware. It's a finely constructed, mesmerising, humanistic zombie road trip. 

You care about the characters and follow them on their journey, it's not dialogue driven but what there is, is humorous, heartfelt and rings true. 

Overall, does what it says on the tin delivering a snap shot of two everyday guys surviving during a zombie apocalypse.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Burlesque, live Rock music and Fashion event

Dropped in on a great event - music by Within the War, Pippa Eastman's fashion design and Burlesque from Chrys Columbine with some great models, organised by Dave Dent. Couple of snaps below I'm sure there's a huge list of people who made it happen from make up to lighting.

IMG_0688.JPG Chrys Columbine, A. M. Esmonde and Eastman

IMG_0685.JPG Chrys Columbine
IMG_0687.JPG Phebe Harrow and A. M. Esmonde

IMG_0682.JPG Aimee Roddick