We see generally three different takes on witches in films.

 

The first is the basic Samantha Stevens Bewitched version. She's happy and lives a more or less regular life, but wants to be normal. By normal I mean she wants to be like us, fit in with our society. We see several versions of this but the most common one is the young adult version like Sabrina the Teen Age Witch or Beautiful Creatures.

 

A quick review of Beautiful Creatures; Emmy Rossum is liquid sex poured into a black lace dress.  There were a few other things too, but nothing else really comes to mind. The reason this movie failed at the box office is simple, it was too smart. Blame Twilight for helpless female characters being what's popular at the moment. Not only did BC have a strong female character but she had to frequently take care of her male love interest. This romantic gender reversal was well done and smartly written. 

 

The reason that I mention BC is because it is very much a Bewitched kind of movie. The effects are fairly subtle, and the CGI is pretty good in the sense that it doesn't try to carry the movie. The characters are more or less interested in living along side what they refer to as mortals, and they do so pretty well. In these types of movies witches are both good and bad, but not singled out as one or the other. 

 

The second type of witch movie is more slanted towards witches being a problem that has to be resolved. This is your basic hero in need of something to kill kind of movie. For this we look at Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Not a big hit in the box office, but not that good of a movie either, so no surprise there.  

 

HG relied much more heavily on CGI and on practical effects such as machine guns, yeah, machine guns in 17th century Europe. The weapons and the diabetes treatments made it hard to watch the movie for the witches. However, one you get past all the futuristic stuff that shouldn't exist the witch fights are pretty good. The witches use wands, much like Harry Potter, but with out the half baked Latin enchantments. 

 

These witches are evil looking and demonic, but in a very Hollywood way. It's all sort of cartoonish but it's satisfying when the heroes go on thier inevitble killing spree at the end and wipe out all the villains. Another movie much like this is Hansel and Gretel Get Backed. Surprisingly its funnier than it looks, but in the end you feel satisfied when the witch is tossed in the oven. Both movies are good because they don't take themselves very seriously.

 

The third kind of movie takes itself very seriously. For this example we'll look at The Lords of Salem. This witch movie is a Rob Zombie original, and for the most part really good. This kind of movie takes it's time and kind of hangs around the apartment building atmosphere and mood. It opens with a pretty awesome scene of Salem witches doing a Satanic ritual back in the witch trials days. In this scene you see a bunch of dirty old women, not in any of the good senses of the word, get naked and do a baby sacrifice. This scene takes itself as seriously as it can so it works.

 

Flash forward to present day and we watch Robs wife Sheri shuffle through her post drug addled days, slowly building back story and furthering the mood. Events are then set into motion to ensure that Sheri gets possessed and impregnated so her Cthulu looking baby can be born. This is where the movie falls apart and Rob Zombie just whizzes it right down his leg. This kind of movie has established that it is dead serious and means to show you a devil, but we get a deformed midget with webbed armpits and tenticles instead. From there it's downhill. Our hero spends the rest of the movie stoned and insulated by three evil witches looking to scoop Cthulu out and then... do something. The three evil witches save the second half of the movie from being a total waste by acting so bizzare, but it's not enough to save the movie as a whole.  

This type of movie, one that takes itself totally seriously, could have been excellent. This is what made the Exorcist so good. Unlike the Exorcist LoS failed because there was no pay off at the end of the story. A bunch of random Salem descendants commit mass suicide, ok I'll buy that, the hero vanishes, I guess, but the three witches slip into the ether with their ancestors and we don't see what happens to baby Cthulu. It's not even hinted at.

 

So where does this leave us?

 

We have the happy witch, the good and bad witch, and finally the evil Satanic witch that means to end the world or whatever.

 

The first two movies can be anything from comedy to romance to action, and maybe horror if done correctly. The third one is the only type of movie that really qualifies as a horror movie, but if you're going to to it you have to commit to it. 

 

There are dozens of other witch films out there, what are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

I haven't posted for a while so I'll take a second to bring you, the reader, up to speed. 

 

I've been writing and stuff. 

 

Crap. That really seemed more detailed in my head. I have finished the first draft of another novella that follows the exploits of Tom and Weston. This is the story of one of the single most important moments in both of their lives. It changes them both and each step that comes after takes them further and further from human. Of course there is also blood, death, and mayhem every step of the way.

 

I saw the best horror movie of the year, Occullus. Simple put it's the tale of a haunted object, a mirror, and how it goes around killing people. The most interesting point about this movie is how the mirror kills, subtle confusion. It manipulates a family in very subtle ways until they get so far gone that they can't tell reality from illusion. Then of course, it kills everyone.

 

Unlike most horror movies it's really well written and acted. The standard horror movie formula is stupid people making stupid decisions until the dying starts, and then the panic takes over. This movies is spooky because of the near plausibility of the situation. It actually shows circumstances that you could ind yourself in.

 

In other news I've been working on a speculation manuscript to be submitted to a major franchise. When it's finished I'll shop it out, but if nothing comes of that then I'll probably post it here in it's entirety, just so someone an read it. Writing it has been a lot of fun as well as a great exercise. It was a project that took me out of nineteen hundreds America into a time and place very different. The last Tom and Weston story I just finished was the ninth in the series, and getting out of that saddle briefly felt pretty good. 

 

Once this project plays itself out I'll be getting back into that saddle to write a Tom and Weston story that I've been wanting to write for the last two years. It centers around a villain that has been manipulating Weston's family for the last three generations. Known only as Mr. Quick, for his ability to escape impossible situations, he is a villain that will push Tom and Weston beyond their limits. 

 

Until next time.

Today I'm going to talk about the idea of a new year's resolution, or, as it is more commonly known, the to-do list for the first week of January.

 

Every year people make the decision to change, usually for the better, or so they think. How much of this good intention makes it to February, or March, or even April. Speaking from personal experience I can say that by June I forgot I even made a resolution.

 

So what's the answer then? Make no resolution at all? Well that will get you no where slow. Forget the new year new me crap. Every day is the new you day. Just start being a new person all the time. See if you can surprise yourself. You've already heard all the motivational quotes, and I don't have anything new to add that will make any difference.

 

The only thing I will say is if you want something you've never had before you have to do something you've never done before. See if you can surprise yourself.

I want to thank every one who picked up a copy of The Siege of Fort Brown. The early numbers say that we sold over 500 copies, a small number compared to J.k. Rowling, but a large number compared to Snooki's book. The follow up story will be hitting the shelves late January to mid February. 

 

The next Job will take Tom and Weston away from Texas towards the East coast, tipped off by a friend they track down an antideluvian creature tearing into the locals of a small town. 

 

I'll post a more detailed preview closer to the publication date. In the mean time a few questions have popped up about what I did before I started publishing. Well, the short story is that I've done a myriad of different things. The only job I had for more than two years was teaching martial arts, or as I liked to think of it, beating people up for money. Yes, you can make a very nice living at it. Of course one of the nice aspects is working with kids. Oddly, the more you smack them around the better they liked you.

 

                                            

 

I haven't taught publicly since I returned from Japan in 2012, but always in motion is the future. I haven't had much time for continued training these days. I have something that keeps me pretty busy now. Most of my time is split between research and speaking with consultants, two in pertiular are always keen to get their stories out.

 

I'm being strongly encouraged to work on my shooting, defensive driving, and climbing skills for accuracy in future material, so I've located a place in Nevada to do just that. I'll post pics as they become availlable. I'm sure I'll look quit comical trying to learn those things. 

 

 

 

The first story in the Hunters series has hit the e-shelves. The buy date is December 1st, 2013, so mark the day on your calendar and be sure to get your copy on that day.

First Blog

 

So as a relatively new writer I am forced to begin writing a blog. As this is my frist attempt at one I’ll just do a quick skip through all the get to know you nonsense by doing a Q and A so we can then get to the more interesting material.

 

What inspires you to write?

     I get bored incredibly quickly and as a result I find myself creating characters, scenes and stories in my head while I pretend to pay attention to the world around me. I’ve done this for as long as I can remember so writing stories was inevitable. I wrote my first story when I was nine, but as it turns out it was quit the steaming pile so I won’t ever let that see the light of day.

 

What is your favorite genre?

     I like almost everything except straight romance. I am a huge fan of horror and sci fi though. I love the original Dune series of books and while I was in Japan I found myself pretty fond of the Hellboy and the Conan comics.

 

What are you reading right now?

     The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which contrary to most of the Hammer horror films will not let you summon the dead, nor does the Egyptian book of the Dead. 

 

What are you watching right now?

     I am still trying to get over the fact that Burn Notice has ended, but in the mean time I like to watch Archer, Mystery Science Theater 3000 reruns, Supernatural, Justified, Nightstalker, Grimm, Elementary and whatever slice of fried gold is floating across the Sy Fy channel that week. C’mmon Sharknado 2!

 

What is the funnest part of the process?

     Sometimes the research is by far the most fun. Since I write about people who have a very wide skill set I have to at least try some of the things that they can do in order to be accurate. This means I spend time at the gun range, taking horseback riding lessons, doing defensive driving classes, or getting a pilots liscence for a helicoptor. Other times talking to experts on any given subject can be very interesting.

     The writing itself is very gratifying and I do felt a great sense of accomplishment when a story is finished, but sky diving is more fun.     

 

What do you do when you are not writing?

     I’ve watched almost all of the Netflix catalogue, everything worth seeing anyway, but if I’m not doing that I’m usually doing research in some form. I split my time between working with a paranormal research team and doing ride-alongs with another group of experts. Whatever down time I have between those I spend reading through old books, case files, and journals for material to convert into stories.

 

Which three books would you take to a deserted island?

     Idiots Guide to Surviving on a Deserted Island, Idiots Guide to Raft-building on a Deserted Island, and something funny.

 

 

Ok, so that’s about all I feel like writing about myself. Feel free to ask any questions you want. Now lets’ move onto to something more interesting, let’s cast the move “The Siege of Fort Brown”.

 

Tom: I’ve always picture Freddy Rodrigues as Tom. He’s slightly short, but we see that he is more than capable of kicking ass in Planet Terror.

 

Weston: When I think of Weston I see Timothy Olyphant, just normal looking enough to blend in with a crowd, but he can easily summon the intensity necessary to gun down a horde of zombies. His performance is Deadwood and Justified make him a perfect fit for a bloodthirsty gunslinger that likes his job way too much. 

 

Captain Hawkins: Paul Bettany would work very well as someone that could lead and inspire his men in the face of an undead onslaught but still take the time to get pissed at Weston and take a swing at him. Bettany has proved that he can do action with movies such as Inkheart, Legion, and Priest.

 

Major Brown: Sam Eliot. All you have to do with Sam is put him in a costume and get him to scowl a little and he adds weight, dignity, and sheer awesomeness to anything he’s in. In addition to that his age and demeanor reflect a man that could command a fort on the edge of potencially hostile territory.

 

General Arista: To avoid the death sentence that is casting a white actor as any kind of ethnicity I’m going with Javier Bardom. Not only is he a fantastic actor but he has the looks to pull off a Mexican general. We saw how playfully evil he could be in Skyfall, and hopefully he can bring that same energy to the role of the dead general.

 

Sergent Apone: Though this seems like a small role, little more than a walk on for this movie, Apone does reappear in future stories. With that in mind I would like to see a strong character actor who wouldn’t eclipse anyone else. So I’m going with Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

 

Private Burke: Elija Wood. We’ve seen him act the entire spectrum from comedy to drama to action. With his work in Lord of the Rings, Wilfred, and Sin City he has clearly showed he can go from annoying, to irrational, to insane quickly and believable.  

 

Elaina: Zoie Palmer is a reoccurring character on Lost Girl, and she has the ability to pull off the thousand yard stare of a whore ridden too hard while still retaining enough dignity to be a sympathetic character.

 

 

So that’s my ideal cast for the film adaption of The Siege of Fort Brown. Did that come close to what you saw in your mind while you read it? If you can think of better actors to play the parts please let me know. With that I am ending my first blog. Feel free to post questions, comments, or concerns on anything related to the story.

 

 

Deacon

 

 

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