Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mark Taylor's "Shutter Speed" Review

Hello again, ghosts and ghouls!
Yes, you read that title right. Last week, I reviewed another work by author Mark Taylor ("Strange", his anthology of short stories), but this week I had the opportunity to read his personal favorite novel he's written, Shutter Speed.

I'm going to be incredibly honest, I had no idea what to expect from this novel because the back of the book explains a handful of different stories all coming together. I don't do well with American Horror Story doing the same thing, so I was concerned I was going to lose sight of the story and be too focused on staying on track memorizing which character was which.
It turns out that the characters were much easier to keep track of than I thought, because they're all very memorable, especially Steve. Steve's the man.

Here's the synopsis from Amazon: "Jimmy Tasker is an ordinary child. He loves to take pictures: has an eye for it. When some common bullies take things too far, Jimmy ends up burned… and different. It starts when his father is killed in a mysterious house fire. Him and his mother move away… change names… disappear. Some years later a group of friends are finding it tough. They are unemployed, short of cash, and one of them comes up with a great idea. A robbery. But they are a rag-tag bunch, and Steve declines, leaving the other three, a misogynist, an addict, and poor, easily led Peter, to pull off the ‘robbery of the century’. But Jimmy is still in there, somewhere… … and he’s killing for fun."

...You guys. I have to be honest with you all, the beginning of the book was strong and it had a moment just before the middle of the book where I wasn't sure how it was going to, and then all of a sudden BAM. I finished three quarters of the book in two hours. I couldn't put it down. My heart was racing, I felt so connected to the characters (Jimmy is a crazy badass! Steve is the coolest! The Boys are insane!) and there really wasn't much that I disliked after that.

I have been reading indie horror for some time now, and I am always so grateful that these authors send me their work because they pour their heart and soul into these works and more often than not, they're awesome. Shutter Speed is no exception to this observation.

At times, the story seems a little "woah, what the heck is going on?" but once the flow is back, you're hooked. Like I said, I finished most of this book in a day. What an awesome way to spend my night. Really.

The death scenes are really, really graphic, you guys. I handle blood, gore and gross things REALLY well, and at times I was flinching. There are copious amounts of graphic imagery. It's wonderfully and grossly written. If you're looking for some major gross-outs, go with this one. I've never really felt so empathetic towards characters that are being slaughtered. 

Thank you again, Mark, for sending me your work (and signing it!!!). I can't wait to put Shutter Speed on my bookshelf to show off!

If you'd like to purchase Shutter Speed, find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Shutter-Speed-Mark-Taylor/dp/1496190246

Without authors submitting me their wonderful books, I often miss out on some awesome indie horror. Feel free to email me any time to review horror novels at taylorterriblehorror@gmail.com! I love creepy things and I love reading!

Until next time, stay spooky!
Taylor Terrible <3

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mark Taylor's "Strange" Review

Hello again, ghosts and ghouls!
It feels like it's been quite some time since I've done a book review, doesn't it?! I'm glad to be back on the bookworm wagon and reading like I used to. I have to say, as much as I enjoy watching horror films, something about reading horror is so satisfying. I think it's the fact that you get to conjure up the stories in your head, and it's like a little nightmare while you're awake. No? No one else enjoys having nightmares? Well, that's awkward.

Anyway, on to the review!

I was very generously sent two works by horror author Mark Taylor, and I'll be honest with you, with the holidays happening and life's natural craziness taking place, I was only able to read one so far. That just means that we'll be getting two reviews, so maybe it's not a bad thing!

I read Strange first, which is a collection of short stories. I have a novel, Shutter Speed, waiting for me when I have a hot second to sit down and get really immersed.
With that being said, that takes me into my first favorite part about Strange- few things make me happier than a nice book of short stories. There's something about being able to read a full story start-to-finish in a day that's just so...gratifying.

The second thing I enjoyed about Strange is that there are a few different types of stories! There are the more psychological types ("Networking"), down to the downright horrifying ("Dead Game").

Typically when it comes to book reviews, I try desperately to not give too much away, which is what I'll do here. My favorite in the book is definitely "Dead Game"; it's weird, disturbing, and definitely my type of story. It involves death, so it's kind of a given.

As far as the book itself, the stories are quick and fun reads, so for someone in a rush or someone that's impatient with letting a story unfold, you're in luck! These stories average around 40 pages each.

There's something for everyone, as I said previously, from sci-fi to horror. Strange delivers a fun alternative to sticking to one long story that you may not feel connected to- instead you have the choice to read the stories out of order (because each story is totally different), though I read them in order for the sake of ease.

Thank you again to Mark Taylor who generously sent me such a fun read! If you'd like a copy for yourself, you can get it at http://www.amazon.com/Strange-A-Dark-Surreal-Collection-ebook/dp/B017MIFPRK.

I can't wait to get started on my copy of Shutter Speed!

Until next time, ghosts and ghouls,
Stay spooky!
Taylor Terrible <3

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

V/H/S Review

Hello again, ghosts and ghouls!
I feel like it's been a hot second since I've really had time to sit down and watch a horror movie these days. HOWEVER, I figured I'd review and oldie but goodie that I've watched a few times now. If you have any films in particular you'd like to see me review, shoot me an email! I'd love suggestions! You can do that at taylorterriblehorror@gmail.com. We can even just talk horror and be best friends. Cool? Cool.
V/H/S was given a limited release here in the US, but that didn’t stop it from taking the horror scene by storm. It’s an anthology of short horror films, so basically, you’re getting a handful of horror films all in one two-hour period. What horror fan is opposed to that?
Essentially, the film opens up with a group of jerks who want to steal a VHS from a house, in which they find that there is more than just one tape. They begin to check out the footage, only to realize that there’s some really fucked up shit on there that they probably didn’t expect.
I’m not exactly sympathetic if you haven’t seen V/H/S, because you’re kind of three years behind. It’s been talked about endlessly for being a truly original film, and each of the short films within this one weird, twisted story has its own strengths. 
Before i give too much away, I’m going to limit myself to telling you guys about just one of the films. It’s called “Second Honeymoon”; while most of you, I’m sure, will disagree that this is the scariest one of all of them, I was really freaked out. It’s so uncomfortable…anyway, let me tell you about it!
A couple goes on their second honeymoon (hence the name) where they encounter a stranger asking for a ride for the next day. That night, someone takes Sam's (the husband) camcorder that he’s been filming pieces of the honeymoon on, and films the couple sleeping. The camera shoots the intruder sticking Sam’s toothbrush in the toilet and stealing $100 from his wallet before whipping out A KNIFE and holding it up to Stephanie. (At this point I was hyperventilating a little).
Alright, I’ll stop there so I don’t give away any of the good stuff. There are also paranormal shorts that went into this film, so if you’re not looking for a thriller about someone breaking into someone’s personal space, you’ve got some sci-fi, some zombie action, the works.
It truly is a film for everyone, and is worth watching at least once. Never again will you want to hear someone say “I like you”.

I'll be using the rating system that we use over on Nightmarish Conjurings (another horror site I write for)!

Story/Concept: 2
Direction/Style: 1 (I only give this a 1 because I’m not the biggest fan of found-footage…if you enjoy it, this is 500% a 2)
Scares: 1
Atmosphere: 2
Rewatchability: 1.5
TOTAL: 7.5

It truly is a film for everyone, and is worth watching at least once. Never again will you want to hear someone say “I like you”.

With that being said…I like you all…a lot.
Until next time, stay spooky!
Taylor Terrible <3

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

New Year, New Horror!

With 2016 right around the corner (when you all read this, it will be December 22nd or later), we're all beginning to make our New Year's resolutions. Mine include going to the gym more (this is my resolution literally every single year and I do really well up until about May or June...you know, bathing suit season), learning to de-clutter my life, my house (you guys, I own a house! WHAT?!), and most important, get into some new horror!

I have quite a few things up my sleeve for the next few weeks and content to ring in the new year that I'm SO excited about. While I've said before that things will be crazy for me for a bit, I'm going to try to keep you all as updated as possible. I have one more video on my YouTube channel that will be going up as soon as it's all cut together and edited, but in the meantime, I have a few things I'd like to get around to.

My plan is to bring in some paranormal investigation to my channel, so while it's not necessarily about the horror industry, it's something I'm interested in and I hope you guys are able to have as much fun with it as I do! I plan on making that its own series, so hopefully every 2-3 weeks I'll be able to introduce all of you to equipment that I have and use, places I've gone to investigate, etc. It'll be a good time, I promise.

I was very generously sent a copy of Zach Bohannon's Empty Bodies: Open Roads (the fourth installment in the Empty Bodies series) that I need to get around to reading, and I was also sent two books by author Mark Taylor, an author from the UK that got in touch with me. When I finish those, I'll be doing reviews of all of them (potentially in one post) as I've gotten quite a few requests to do more book reviews.

Other than that....The Forest hits theaters January 8th, and you'd better believe that I'll be seeing the earliest viewing possible! There's been some controversy surrounding the content in the film, as people are finding it offensive...but what don't people find offensive these days?
After The Forest comes The Boy, and I'm beyond excited for that one. You all know how much I love myself some creepy dolls.

With that being said, that's the track that I'm on right now! I'm so, so sorry if it feels like things have been hectic or lacking in content lately. Between moving from my apartment back home temporarily and working on ripping walls out and putting new walls in the new house, painting, and working two jobs, I haven't had nearly as much time as I would have liked to focus on this blog, my channel and my all-around horror obsession. It's been neglected. It's heartbreaking. My dark little soul is not happy about it, trust me.

If you have anything you'd like me to review, the best place to let me know would be my Facebook page. I've had some great people interact with me on there, and I'd love to hear from all of you! I'd also love to do a giveaway once my channel hits 200 subscribers. I'm at almost 100 now, so tell your friends!

If you do read this on the 22nd (or any time before the holiday), I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas. My gift from all of you has been your love and support and I appreciate it every single day. Have a happy and safe holiday!

Until next time, stay spooky,
Taylor Terrible <3

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Top 5 Horror Movies to Get You in the Christmas Spirit

If you're anything like me, ghosts and ghouls, the months of September through December are some of the most exciting for us horror fans.
September rolls in with the anticipation of Halloween (and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and crunchy leaves...no? That's just me that gets excited about pencils?).
October comes and IT'S THE MONTH WE LIVE FOR. SKULLS AND GHOSTS AND SPOOKY THINGS EVERYWHERE. PURE HAPPINESS. You also feel the unrelenting urge to wear a costume 24/7 and pretend to be Sam from Trick 'r Treat.
November arrives and we're kind of depressed, but...food. So much food. Also Thankskilling makes its way back into your head.
And then we receive December. It rolls in like a giant snowball (get it? Because sometimes it snows in December?) and us horror fans are excited because it's the second time this year that we get to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas and we get to eat cookies and be around trees that smell delicious. However, Tim Burton films aside, we also get some pretty cool Christmas-themed horror.
I'm here today to give you a quick list of some horror films you should be watching this holiday season!

5) Jack Frost (1997)

After an accident in which serial killer Jack Frost is genetically melted into the snow on the ground, he returns as a killer snowman.
Yes, it is as cheesy as it sounds, and yes, it's a horror comedy, but it's absolutely worth watching. It's hilarious.

4) Black Christmas (1974)

A sorority house has been receiving threatening phone calls over Christmas break from a killer on the loose. Turns out he may be closer than they think...
Black Christmas is one of the earliest slasher films, which makes it a fun watch. The name probably sounds familiar as the film got a remake in 2006, but I say watch the original first!

3) Gremlins (1984)

At Christmastime, a man goes searching for the perfect gift for his son. He finds a Mogwai in Chinatown, and when his son forgets to follow the three most important rules to keeping it happy and healthy, all hell breaks loose.
If you've never seen Gremlins, we're done. Also, Howie Mandel voices Gizmo, and that makes me love this film even more.

2) Silent Night (2012)

One of the crazier films on the list- a killer Santa is on the loose, conveniently, amidst his small town's annual Santa parade on Christmas Eve. You can only imagine where it goes from there.
Starring Malcom McDowell as Sheriff Cooper. Need I say more?

1) Krampus

Come on, you all knew I was going to say this. If you're in need of plans this holiday season, get your butt to the theater and see this film. It's fun, hilarious, slightly horrifying at times, and it's everything you could possibly want in a holiday film. Family togetherness, and killer cookies.

Alright, there you have it! I hope this list helped you choose what to watch this holiday season- there are just a few weeks left until Christmas so make sure you squeeze these in before it's over!

Do you have a favorite holiday horror film?

Until next time, stay spooky!
Taylor Terrible <3

Saturday, December 5, 2015


Hello, ghosts and ghouls!
I have to say, I knew I was excited to see Krampus, but I didn't really think that I would be this insanely excited to review it.

I saw it the day of its release: December 4th, and let me tell you, I was really disappointed with the turnout of the theater. I saw a 10:40 showing, and myself and my group of friends were 6 of about 15 in the theater. The place was dead...no pun intended. Okay, maybe a little pun intended.
Anyway, it seemed like we had a nice crowd of decently interested horror fans who were looking to seriously watch the film. I say this because typically, at the theater I go to, it's screaming 16 year olds who snuck in or their moms bought their tickets to an R-rated horror film. Needless to say when I saw the PG-13 rating on Krampus, I got pretty worried about the people that may be at the theater.
But, like I said, there really were no people, and no one under the age of 20. (-relieved sigh-)

Now, let's get into the film!
For those of you that don't know Krampus' origin story, he's a German folklore character. He's essentially the anti-Santa. Santa Claus brings gifts to the good kids, Krampus tortures the kids (and families) that have lost the Christmas spirit. This brings us to the home of Tom, Sarah, Beth, Max, and Omi. After Max writes a letter to Santa only to have it ridiculed at the dinner table by his nasty cousins, he rips it up and throws it out the window. This summons Krampus to remind Max just how important the Christmas spirit is.

This movie, you guys, was incredible. Michael Dougherty (writer and director of Trick 'r Treat) wrote and directed this film, and it shows. The cinematography, the storytelling, the characters...everything about it was stunning.
For a PG-13 film it was surprisingly terrifying; Krampus' "little helpers" were actually some really disturbing Christmas-decoration-esque demons that made me want to take my lights down (and never play with a Jack-in-the-box again).

I have to say, although they essentially included no gore at all, and the film wasn't graphic, you could tell that what was happening was pure horror. I appreciated that they left a decent amount up to the imagination, because to be honest, I've been looking for a film that allows me to insert my own thoughts. Lately, most horror films have been cut-and-dry, "here's what's happening" crap.

As always, I really don't want to give too much of the film away (although I could talk for hours about how brilliant I thought this film was), so I HIGHLY recommend that you see it ASAP (hence why this review is going up early!).
I give this film a solid 10/10. No ifs, ands or buts about it. There wasn't a single second of this film that I disliked or thought was unnecessary, I would watch it again a million times over, and it's solidified itself as one of my favorite holiday films (right alongside Trick 'r Treat, of course).

UGH YOU GUYS GO SEE KRAMPUS RIGHT NOW. Also, Fright Rags put out an awesome Krampus collection and you should check it out. I'm dying to order the sweatshirt. Let's wear matching Krampus sweaters, okay?

Until next time, stay spooky!
Taylor Terrible <3

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Quick Post: Update! Where Have I Been and Happy December!

Hey ghosts and ghouls, I know I skimped on a post last week, but I promise it's only because life's been crazy busy.
With that, this isn't really going to be a post about horror (other than saying I'm missing it really, really bad right now). I've been in the process of moving, as my other half and I bought a house. Exciting, right?! ...Kind of. It's been crazy stressful and crazy busy, hence why there haven't been very many posts and they've been kind of lacking in content.
I promise that when this whole process is over, I will be back to posting as normal! I'm so excited for Krampus to come out this week so I'll absolutely be reviewing that soon.
My videos will be posting every Monday as usual, because it seems that the YouTube platform I've created is growing way faster than I ever thought it could! I typically film 4 videos at once, so it only takes a day, as opposed to laying out blog posts  a few days in advance ahead of time (I know, I'm a big nerd).
Other than that, I just wanted to hop on and say happy December! Can you believe the holidays are coming up?! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving; I'm thankful for each and every one of you every single day. I love you all!!
Until next time, stay spooky,
Taylor Terrible <3