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Keepin it Positive

Things are too negative these days. I contribute to it on a daily basis and am trying my best to avoid it, especially with recent events. So here's a whole bunch of positive thoughts to try and drown out all of the nonsense.

  • I have a lot of great people in my life. Sometimes its easy to take it all for granted but I've been trying to do better. I try to text people more and respond in a more timely matter. I'm still awful about phone calls but I'm trying. Here's hoping this focus on optimism furthers my own goals/happiness.

  • UFC 205 is right around the corner and, like millions around the globe, I couldn't be more excited. While McGregor/Alvarez is certainly the spectacle of the show, there are other fantastic bouts in Woodley/Wonderboy and Joanna/Karolina (if you thought I was going to try and spell their last names, you're crazy). This is looking like it could be the greatest card in UFC history while simultaneously making history in epic proportion with New York's first ever.

  • The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Special Edition came out recently and it's just as incredible as I'd hoped for. No matter how much I played the game on 360, nothing quite compares to playing it on a top of the line PC and the SE is no different with brilliant graphics that only get better with a little modding here or there. Those that have been running Skyrim with mods won't really see much of a change but for us lowly console gamers, it's a look at Skyrim through brand new eyes.

  • This ended up being a fantastic year for horror. Insidious: Chapter 3, The Conjuring 2, Don't Breathe, Hush, and Lights Out all provided a much needed jolt to the public's horror nerve. These are all stylish and try to carve their own path in the horror world. Just like so many other horror directors before them, I can see these guys (especially Fede Alvarez) really moving on to greatness.

  • The Mass Effect trilogy was recently released to EA Access as well as XBOX One Backward Compatibility. So in other news: I won't have much of a life for the next few months. As much as I was hoping for a fancy new remaster, I'm happy to not have to repurchase a bunch of games I already own. And EA Access has helped me forgo the distance that exists between myself and my physical copies of these games, meaning I can start my adventures aboard the Normandy all over again.

  • Joe Rogan's latest Standup Special "Triggered" was released recently and, while I'm not always a fan of Rogan's standup, he really went above and beyond for this special. His casual demeanor carries over well and since he actually has some decent points to make, it makes the jokes stronger as a result. While it's not going to change your life, it's definitely a lighthearted way to spend an hour.

  • So apparently The Vision is awesome? I've really fallen off of comic books and only recently got caught up on Batman (which, even without Scott Snyder, is awesome) so I was shocked to hear that a comic based on the Vision was the top comic around. Consider me pleasantly surprised because I always love when lesser Marvel characters start getting some love (Black Widow, Miss Marvel, Moon Knight). I have all the current issues loaded up on my Kindle and I can't wait to dive in.

  • Insomnia Theatre has really been a lot of fun. I'm not sure if you've been keeping up but my friend Dom and I have been doing these fun little commentaries over Public Domain horror movies. It's a great way for us to shoot the shit while also doing something we love while also feeling just a little bit productive in the process. I've really enjoyed it, as I love B Horror Movies and don't feel like I've seen nearly enough. While not always first time viewings for Dom, they are almost always completely new for me. And we both completely understand if you don't have the time to listen as they do run the full length of the films we watch but we appreciate it nonetheless.

  • I started playing DnD and I've officially entered super nerd territory. I'd always avoided the game because it had a certain connotation to it but after several close friends repeatedly recommended it to me, I finally succumbed. I have to admit, it's a lot of fun. I've always been a very imaginative person so I figured I'd have fun with the game but I wasn't expecting to know so much about the game already. Every RPG I've ever played has borrowed from DnD so the transition was rather easy. While my friends and I just do it over voice chat at this point, I can see it being loads more fun being in person. But as of now it's a great way to keep in touch with friends on a weekly basis.

Insomnia Theatre

Anyone that knows me knows I love me some horror movies. My good friend Dom also loves horror movies. So it made sense for us to combine forces and celebrate horror movies in the only way we know how: making fun of them.

Insomnia Theatre is basically just Dom and I providing a commentary for random Public Domain Horror Movies. Why Public Domain? Well we want to make it as easy as possible and PD is the only way we can include both the video and our audio all in one spot (unless we wanted to pay exorbitant licensing fees for legit movies which would never happen). Are we going to provide the level of insight that a cast/crewmember would provide? Of course not, but if you like a friendly conversation over an old horror movie filled with plenty of ball-busting, swearing, and laughs.

Check out the first four episodes below.

NOTE: Episode 3 has a copyright claim from some asshole producers who don't understand that the film is in the US Public Domain. So get it while you can.

Auditorium of Horror

Well I missed Halloween. Spent an entire month doing a bunch of stuff, most of which was non-Halloween related. Younger Tyler would have been so disappointed. Unfortunately, I just didn't have the time nor the heart to continue with my "31 Days of Halloween/Horror" for another year. Instead, I opted just to enjoy the month without limitations and it ended up being one of the more memorable Halloween experiences of my life, with something I'm hoping to add to subsequent years: a trip to the theaters.

I was recently lucky enough to be able to see two classic horror movies in movie theaters: The Shining and Halloween. If you know me, then you know that those are two of my absolute favorite films of all time and have been since I was a teen. So the while the idea of seeing this films in an auditorium may have crossed my mind, it never came across as a feasible option. Thankfully 2016 has provided a bountiful harvest of horror films in the theater that I'm actually able to pick and choose which I wanted to see, and the choices were obvious.

As much as a I love The Shining, it's run-time can certainly be wearing, especially given the slower pace of the extended version (which was what we saw). While I prefer the Kubrick Cut for it's more frantic pace/less supernatural elements, I still love this version to death. It's a journey into insanity, only being rivaled by A Nightmare On Elm Street and The Descent.

Halloween was an otherworldly experience. I never in a million years would have thought that I'd be able to see that movie in theaters and the quality was superb; the best I've ever seen the film look. While The Shining was clearly just an okay transfer likely taken from the Bluray, Halloween felt absolutely pristine. I'm still not entirely sure what format we saw it in, but whatever it was, it provided a look unlike any other.

While I can't vouch for every Fathom Event (apparently their presentation of Halloween last year was poorly done with low quality sound and a darkened image) but they seem to have worked out all the kinks for this recent cycle, and I can't recommend it enough. Here's hoping they switch it up next year and I'm able to cross a few more essentials off my list.

Random Thoughts for September 2016

I actually really liked Independence Day Resurgence. When I first saw it I kind of dismissed it and only recently upon reflection really enjoyed it. Sure, it's ridiculous beyond all comprehension, but it's still a really good time at the movies. Jeff Goldblum looks to be having a fantastic time, continuing on in his classic role from the original. Really, the only thing that really didn't sit well with me was the exclusion of Will Smith's character in a silly fashion. I'm sure they did it so that they could potentially bring him back for the sequel, but who knows if that's even going to happen now. Let's be clear: it's a terrible movie. I just enjoyed it.

I'm ready for Ronda Rousey to be back. The UFC Women's Bantamweight division has been sorely lacking since her hiatus. Holm, after destroying Tate for five rounds, lost the belt she earned from Rousey due to a rear naked choke she had escaped from earlier. Then "Cupcake" Tate put on a terrible title fight performance (after barely making weight, one minute before the time limit) against Amanda Nunez. Holm lost a fight to who is now the next contender, Valentina Schevchenko. A woman who lost a decision to Nunez that could have easily gone her way. Schevchenko is going to destroy Nunez, thus giving us ANOTHER champion in barely a year. Rousey is an animal. I've watched a lot of elite MMA fighters and Rousey is in a league of her own. She got overly emotional and thought she was invincible. She knows that's not the case now and, in a division that's playing hot potato with the title, it's only a matter of time before the queen returns to her throne.

UFC 202 was incredible and there is no controversy. It's unfortunate because the same type of thing happens with any big fight and I have a hard time being mad at it because without that kind of fight, I would have never been able to get into the sport (Rousey/Holm was my first PPV). There just happen to be several points of contention between those that watch the sport regularly and those that just tune in for big events, looking for knockouts. Conor wasn't running. The greatest ref in the entire game, Big John McCarthy, said he wasn't running. Watch more fighting if you think he was.

I don't like the casting of Zendaya as Mary Jane Watson. Apparently that makes me racist. She's a gorgeous young woman who is absolutely super model quality but she's not MJ. She's not a red-head and she's not Caucasian which, given the character's importance to a lot of people, I think is a slap in the face to fans everywhere. And please don't be fooled, it's racist. Just because it's a white person being changed, doesn't suddenly change the rules. If you want Peter Parker to be dating a black girl (which I'm totally down with) then create a new character for him to date, don't take one of the most popular Gingers in all of comics and take away a hero from children and adults alike.

I always like to pick an "underdog" team to root for every NFL season. Usually my pick is the Oakland Raiders but they don't really need it anymore. They have Derek Carr, Latavius Murray, Amari Cooper and a helluva great offensive line. They don't really need it. So instead I'll be rooting for the St Louis Los Angeles Rams. They've always had a team I liked but it never looked like it was worth investing in. And don't worry, I'll still root for the Patriots over anybody. I'm not losing my mind completely.

CM Punk fights for the first time tonight. And I couldn't be more excited. If you know me, you know that my favorite Professional Wrestler of all time is CM Punk. He is a big reason why I got back into wrestling back in 2009 and am forever grateful for that fact. Will he win tonight? It's anyone's guess but I know who I'll be rooting for and who my money is on. Win, lose, or draw, we're in for one helluva fight.

"The Crimson Summer" Q&A (SPOILERS)

This is the followup Q&A filled with spoilers so you'll have to highlight the text in order to be able to view it.

This is a slasher, why no opening kill?

Where's all the sex?

Why all the drinking and drug use?

Can we talk about THE KILLER?!

When will the sequel be out?

"The Crimson Summer" Q&A (spoiler-free)

Ever since the release of the book I've been bombarded with questions of all shapes and sizes. In an effort to make it easier on both myself and those seeking answers, I've compiled a list of some of the most commonly asked questions regarding "The Crimson Summer."

I will be following up next week with one that answers all of the spoilery questions.

Where are the zombies?

This has repeatedly made me laugh because I didn't think that I had left the story such a mystery that people would even consider this a possibility. Unfortunately for zombie lovers though, www.zombievictim.com is simply the name of this here website and an online pseudonym I've had for over twelve years. Websites are usually included on the back of books, so I included my own without even thinking of what people would imply about the book's story. I doubt I will ever do a zombie story (the genre just doesn't interest me these days) so I hope I didn't disappoint anyone who got their hopes up.

Did you write yourself into any of the characters?

I get this question a lot because people close to me appear to see me in multiple characters which has been a little surprising. I was very conscious of how I made each character and how they acted/reacted to the world. Some were based on common Slasher tropes and others were an assembly of various personalities but none of the characters are based on anyone in my life nor myself. This has been a little bit of a difficult process in that many reader's have attributed some of the character's actions with my own line of thinking which couldn't be the furthest from the truth. So please don't attribute anything that my characters say/do with myself. I'm a writer. I make things up.

Funnily enough, if you had a gun to my head and asked which character was most similar to myself then I'd probably say Marion--a person no one has guessed as such. But, of course, she's a much more caring and empathetic person than me. She'd likely go on to do some noble cause like being a teacher. So even the character I consider most like me, is still far and away from myself.

Why a "Summer Camp Slasher" for your first book?

I needed something "simple" to write as I was already going to have enough challenges, given that it was my first book. There's no genre I know better than horror and, after having stayed away from the sub-genre for so long, I decided to go in full-stop. I've always felt that "Summer Camp Slashers" never really took advantage of the location. When I was a kid, prior to having seen the Friday the 13th films but still knowing of the character of Jason Voorhees, I would come up with these elaborate scenarios that never really came to pass once I saw the films. So Crimson Summer is my attempt to rectify that.

As far as what I mean by "simple to write", I mean that it had an easy to follow structure, that I knew like the back of my hand, and have a completed book on my hands. I didn't want to just write something and have a hundred thousand word convoluted mess. And a "slasher book" is something that doesn't really get written but I knew on name alone, people would know what it was about. The only trope I really deviated from was an opening kill, which I'll get into in the next post.

Was self-publishing difficult?

It certainly wasn't easy but the process itself isn't too hard as long as you put in the work. Just getting a completed first draft of a book is hard enough but then going through it over and over can be enragingly tough. Self-publishing means you have to go through the book with more a fine tooth comb than ever thought possible. I've read The Crimson Summer upwards of fifty times, once all drafts have been accounted for. This is actually the reason I still haven't read the print version of the book. I read the kindle version prior to launch for a last minute spelling/grammatical check but I haven't read more than a few passages of the print version yet. I plan to do that once work starts on a sequel and I need a refresh on the characters. But as of yet, nothing because I had to labor over it for so ridiculously long. There are spelling/grammatical errors in the book, I'm sure but, after having an editor and several people readthrough it before release, I'm okay with a couple mistakes slipping through the cracks. It's only natural.

Who is your favorite character?

At first, I thought that either Chase or Louie would be my favorite characters but as I wrote them, I got further away from what they were originally intended as. So Marion became my favorite character early on because of her drive. While she's wanting to provide these kids with a great summer, she also treats her Head Counselor position as simply a job. She doesn't do everything perfect and is the person so many other's lean on for support. Nearly everyone comes to Marion for help because they know she can handle it. It's hard not to like someone like that.

What's next?

I'm currently writing a horror/adventure story written from the first-person perspective. I've been writing it for about a month and a half and it's been going great. It's called Lies Our Family Tell Us and it's the most excited I've ever been writing a story. I'm finally able to go wild with my imagination and really do something that I've wanted since I was a kid: create my own unique world. There are creatures, there's fucked up shit happening, but ultimately its one characters journey to reach their full potential. I think that's something we can all relate to.

Stay tuned next week for the spoiler-filled portion of the Q&A.

Have a question that wasn't answered here? Email me at tylernicholswrites@gmail.com or leave a comment below!

Random Thoughts for July 2016

Netflix started doing this thing called "Flixtapes." I'm not entirely sure if it's anything other than a complete waste of time but I am enjoying making different playlists. It'll make things a lot easier when it comes to giving people movie suggestions and, as someone who is often asked for Netflix suggestions by a variety of people, this little tool comes in handy. Here's the first playlist I made (obviously horror related): CLICK HERE!

Shameless is absolutely fantastic. I've heard about this show for so long, and it's always been appealing to me, but I'd never taken the plunge. With Netflix adding the first four seasons, it was a no-brainer to finally dive right in. William H Macy plays against type and Emmy Rossum steals the show in what is a show that everyone should be watching. These are people who are breaking the law and doing so in order to survive and feed their family.

Having a book out is both weird and exhilarating. It's been a very exciting experience and one that I still don't quite understand. Autographing books and doing phone interviews are not something that I'd really even thought about having to do so soon. That always felt like something in the future.

The second book is coming along great. I was able to plan it so I could start my next book, while still in the marketing phase of book one. It's been a little difficult at times, but the circumstances have all lined up for the book to be done in this timeframe, so that's what I'm shooting for. Regardless, the book won't come out until next year, followed by a sequel to The Crimson Summer. It's a lot of work but those are the things I've planned out and know I'll be doing. Anything past that, I haven't really thought about.

Stranger Things is amazing but not for everyone. I was really hoping it'd be one of those shows that I can recommend to anyone and everyone but this is clearly for a niche audience that will love it passionately. Speaking of which, it's been awesome to have so many friends reach out to me about this show and say it's tailor-made for me. The recognition of some of my favorite things by friends has been great.

I absolutely adore "slice of life" movies.
And no one does them better than Richard Linklater. From Dazed and Confused to Boyhood, he's always managed to provide insight into a decade long passed. Everybody Wants Some is just that and while it doesn't quite have the driving story of the other aforementioned films, it's still extremely satisfying. I had very high expectations for this "spiritual successor to Dazed and Confused" and it delivered. In fact, I'd say it's going to take a special kind of movie to knock it out of the top spot for favorite film this year.

I've been attempting to read more and more. Every month that passes, I've been trying to get through more reading than the previous. It doesn't always work out but it's been very mentally stimulating. If you want to see what I've been reading/am currently reading then head over to Goodreads.

Childhood All Summed Up

Jon Lajoie (Taco from "The League") has a new band, Wolfie's Just Fine, and they've released an awesome new music video inspired by "Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning."

I've watched this video at least five times now and I simply cannot get enough. Every aspect of this is aimed directly at me. It's hard for someone like me not to absolutely love this music video/song. While I didn't grow up in the 80's, the experience that this kid is going through is absolutely universal. That pure sense of helplessness as you watch some unsuspecting victim bite it is so unique to the horror genre. As a kid, I didn't fully understand how movies worked like I do now and was able to lose myself in them (something I wish I could do now). I WAS this kid.

I understand if you didn't have the same type of experiences growing up, I still believe this is a great video/song that is a lot deeper than the surface dictates. I keep watching the video and noticing new aspects that make it hit even closer to home. And the ending is just perfect.

Worried about violence? No problem.

Had to retake the "holding the book" pic for promotional purposes.

If there's one statement that has been prevalent when readers have been finishing up The Crimson Summer it's that "it's nothing like expected." So far, it's only been said in a positive light but it still made me wonder if I had done my job in promoting the book. Maybe I was making this seem like too "run of a mill slasher."

Let's get into the whole reason I wrote the book in the first place...

When I was a teenager I was absolutely obsessed with horror movies. It didn't matter what sub-genre it happened to fall into, I was watching everything and anything. My favorite sub-genre has always remained the same: slasher. A Nightmare On Elm Street, Halloween, Scream and, of course, Friday the 13th were all staples of my teenage years. I would watch these films on loop, adding in whatever other similar movies I could find (Pieces, Happy Birthday To Me, Aprils Fools Day, etc.). I dissected these movies and knew the formula better than I did the one's in my math homework (my Math grade often reflected that). These were still the days of "First Time On DVD!" releases and I would pick up whatever horror movie it happened to be, regardless of whether I had seen it or not. But that obsession just wouldn't stop. So I took to Amazon to find something else that could fill my time: books.

Little did I know that the book I was looking for never quite existed. Slasher books were not and still aren't much of a thing. The ones that are out there are usually based on film franchises and even those still fell to the same logistical issues of the movies from which they were based. That's when the idea came to me: why not just write my own book? It percolated for a period of time while I went and pursued screenwriting and film-making. Then, with a choice in front of me, I decided to finally pursue what I had been thinking about for over a decade.

So I started the process of making my slasher book come to life. I quickly decided that I wanted to do a more logical approach to Friday the 13th. My plan was to create many different characters, really have you get to know them, and them kill them off in horrific ways. I wanted to abide by the moral code set forth by so many slashers before it while also deterring from that to throw some red herrings into the mix.

I'm not going to pretend that the book came easy. There were a lot of long, sleepless nights where I labored over making sense of it all. This book brought me to tears as I would read long passages and just hate everything about it. I had more ups and downs with this book than I thought could be possible with a Word Document, but I made it out the other side with a book I'm extremely proud of. It's MY version of Friday the 13th, which is to say it's nothing like Friday the 13th at all. The only thing that The Crimson Summer has in common with F13 is that there's a killer at a summer camp. That's where it ends.

So if you're hesitant about the book because you're worried it's going to be tasteless sex and glorifying violence, please know that's not the case at all. While many horror facets take that approach, it's never been an appealing route and all important works of fiction, for me, have been reliant on the characters. So that has always been my primary focus, no matter what story I'm trying to tell. So if you're wanting a character piece, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy here. I promise you won't regret it.

A Word On The Crimson Summer

This article features VERY LIGHT spoilers for The Crimson Summer. It doesn't give away any plot points but there are vague scenes mentioned so if you want to go in 100% fresh, stop reading after the trailer.

Purchase it here: http://amzn.to/1OuwK17

The first week of release for my debut novel, The Crimson Summer, is drawing to a close. It's been awesome to see the support from people I never expected it from and exciting to engage with those that are reading/have already read it (Yes, there are people that have already finished the book and that is absolutely mind-blowing to me).

There were a lot of people that bought Day One that I wasn't expecting to pick the book up so fast due to their lack of interest in horror. But they picked it up. Despite their lack of interest towards the genre they supported me and that means the absolute world. Speaking of support in places I wasn't expecting, I had many of my past teachers pick up copies of the book. This has both excited and terrified me given that the first chapter deals with awkward masturbation and an odd obsession with frog guts. Here's hoping they'll be able to look at me the same.

If you're reading this and you haven't picked up a copy yet, please don't feel bad. I understand how life goes and picking it up right away isn't in the cards for everybody. I had to wait to purchase a good friend of mine's book because things were rough financially at the time of release. It happens. I don't hold it against you at all. Nor do I hold it against you if you bought it and are not able to read it immediately. Again, life happens and I understand that.

With all the comments from people who are reading/finishing the book, there are some things that I'd like to address, whether it's something I had planned on talking about or something that has been brought to my attention recently, I figured now was as good of a time as any.

First of all, no character in the book is based upon myself. I know that it's hard for people to differentiate the story from me, given that my narrative is a very conversational tone, and the narrator has my voice. This has lead to several people coming up to me as saying "XXXX character is totally you." I take it as a compliment as, given that there's no one I know better than myself, I purposely used small qualities of my own for some of the leads. But please, just because you see one aspect and go "Oh that's so Tyler", that doesn't mean the other aspects of the character are representative of me. No character is myself in the same way that none of the other characters in the story are based on anyone else in my life. Traits are traits and names are names.

There's a particular debate in the film on Superheroes that people keep thinking is me venting. It's not. I used that debate simply because it was one of the most prevalent ones in the world of pop culture because of the popularity of comic book movies right now. I wanted to represent that by having two characters talk about it in a way that I've seen over and over. There are some people that don't see that particular film as bad, but those aren't my characters. This was just another way for me to really get you to know these characters without taking up too much time.

I've also been getting questions about autographs. While I would absolutely love to have an option for autographs right now, that is just not in the cards. This is only my first book and I think it's a little pompous to have an "autographed" option. If you want to get my Herbie Hancock, then you will just have to do so in person. (note: for all of you Michigan folks, I should be back to visit in August, so if you want a signed copy, I can do it then.)

I have plans to do a Q&A in a month, so that should answer anything that I haven't answered here. I didn't want to go into too many details because I know the majority of people have not reached the end yet. The Q&A will be spoiler laden and answer some of the lingering questions you may have upon reaching the final page. Not all questions will be answered as there are some things in the book that are intentionally vague but I'll do my best to expand upon the ones I can answer.

I know that this is getting old and tired but I really have to thank each and every one of you that has purchased the book. Having so much support has been amazing and really makes all the hard work worth it. I can only hope that it just keeps spreading and opens up to more and more people because as great as royalties are, the real joy is getting to talk to fans of the book. Creating a world is hard work but having people invested in it?

Worth it.

The Crimson Summer - AVAILABLE NOW!!!

Synopsis: Summers at Camp Watanka are never easy. The buildings are dilapidated and the heat can be scorching, but for the teenage campers the greatest threat of all is the social minefield they must endure. Until this Summer. When strange disappearances start occurring, the threat becomes deadly, turning the camp into a fight for survival. A fight that few will get out of alive. Told from the perspective of a different camper or counselor each chapter, follow their journey to discover the mystery behind Watanka, and whether they'll become a hero or just another victim...

I'm so excited to announce that my first novel, "The Crimson Summer", is available NOW! That's right, you can just head over to Amazon and see what I've been up to for these past two years. There's a physical version and a digital version available. It's also available at various retailers but Amazon has the best deal, so that's where I'd recommend.

This book features drug use, violence, and excessive swearing (can't really make a slasher featuring a bunch of teenagers without those) so if any of those things offend you then this book may not be for you. I still think that the journey with the characters is worth it but that's a decision to be made by you and I respect whatever you fall upon (just don't ask me for a free copy.).

I hope that you enjoy the book and please feel free to write to me and let me know what you thought. It's been a blast interacting with the people that have read it thus far and I can't wait to discuss it more. Don't forget to leave a review on Amazon, that way others can see what you thought of it as well. Most of all, I hope that you enjoy your journey to Camp Watanka as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Thanks for all of the support,

Random Thoughts for June 2016

The Witch is well worth the hype. I had been hearing about this film for so long on top of hearing amazing things about it, so my expectations were a tad high. But dammit if this film didn't just blow me away. The only negative things I've heard about this are people that don't understand slow paced and were expecting more of a straight up horror film. This is not it. Being more of a drama than anything, the film does some truly incredible things with the child actors and provides some of the most beautiful cinematography of any horror movie this year.

I actually enjoyed a Kevin Hart movie. I know, as impossible as it sounds, I actually found myself watching a Hart movie and didn't end up wanting to stabs my earballs. "Get Hard" is funnier than it has any right to be given how terrible the previews were for the film, but a big selling point is that Hart plays a normal person, not the exact character that he uses in his other films. Here he's the straight man and he's actually tolerable, which is very unlike any of his other roles. Sure, I still absolutely hate his Stand-up comedy with a passion, but hey, at least I can tolerate his movies a little bit now. Baby steps, people.

Have you heard of the game Subnautica? Because if you haven't then I highly suggest you change that as soon as possible. It's an exploration/survival game set on an alien world that is (almost) completely covered in water. As someone that's terrified of the ocean, the idea of this game sent chills down my spine. The idea of being out in the middle of open water is one of my greatest fears Speaking of scary water...

"The Shallows" looks like a whole lot of NOPE. If you know me, then you know that I have an irrational fear of the water and of sharks. I watched the trailer and, while I thought it looked dumb, I didn't really think anything of it. Then the shark appeared and we got to see a look at a super aggressive beast that made me want to move even further away from the ocean. I can deal with normal, regular speed sharks. But Hollywood Sharks that move with such power and ferocity turn my trips to any body of water into a nightmare. So as much as I love me some

I have book news. But I can't really tell you about it. I'm stuck in this weird spot where as much as I want to talk about it, I also don't want to ruin the surprise I have planned. All I will say is: make sure you tune into the site this Monday, the 13th. You may be in for a surprise...

Why The "Last Man on Earth" Concept Always Seems To Fail

It's a concept we're all familiar with: What if something happened and you were the last person left on earth. While usually the culprit is some deadly virus turning people into zombies/vampire things (I Am Legend), sometimes it just goes unexplained (The Last Man On Earth) So in the latest trend of "Try absolutely everything out on TV that we possibly can," Fox decided to create a comedy series on the subject.

And it failed. Miserably.

Sure, the pilot episode of Last Man on Earth had a lot of potential, and I see why the Network decided to pick it up. Will Forte is charming and one of very few people who could I could watch in a TV show where he's just talking to himself. But it quickly decided that it couldn't keep with that concept for long and, before the end of the first episode, we were treated to him coming in contact with another human being. See where the problem starts? It quickly showed, yet again, that the whole concept of the show is absolutely false. He is not the last man on earth. It makes everything seem completely pointless as he thinks that he is and draws so many plotholes.

As more and more characters get introduced to the show, the more plot-holes it has. How is it that Forte traveled across the country, even into Mexico and Canada, and couldn't find a single living soul? Don't you think that he would have at least seen signs of life if someone was still alive? And given how long it would have taken him to traverse North America, you'd think someone would have seen the signs for "Alive in Tuscon" and been there long before he came back. We are accepting of it because we are told explicitly with the main title card that Will Forte is in fact, the last man alive. So taking that away takes away that trust. It just doesn't make any sense. And this is really the main problem with this show and movies like it: the viewer is lied to right from the get-go. Our lead is not the last man on earth.

Why is it we have the need to label something as such, when it doesn't carry through on that promise so quickly? Do the people who make these think that we would just get bored by one character even though that's the sole premise that it's marketed as? I think it has more to do with laziness. It's hard to create content for just one person, unable to interact with/play off of someone else so often the solution is to simply bring in other characters. I'd say it fails miserably for the most part and that's because it goes against the DNA from which the idea flourished.

NOT the book, I Am Legend.

Look at I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. This is often considered the ultimate "Last Man on Earth" story and with good reason. It lives up to its name. In this, we are met with the realization towards the end that he is in fact the last person alive and he will be a legend for that fact. There isn't another man in the entirety of the story and therefore lives up to its namesake; a rarity among these types of films.

Even the Will Smith starring I Am Legend fails to even capitalize on the concept, despite the source material being ripe for the taking. All they had to do was follow the story (modernizing it since it's 50+ years after the novel was published) and the payoff we all wanted would be there. Instead, they decided that they needed to throw the concept out the window and give us what amounts to just another action film with the same tired ending. It's a pity given how revolutionary it could have been.

There is still one thing that could save these types of movies, (in particular the TV show, TLMOE) and this is one that I hope others follow: just stick to the concept. If the show is about the last man on earth, then make sure he's the last fucking man on earth. Don't add a love interest and all these other people because of laziness. Think of conflicts that someone living by themselves would be faced with and create that story. The story that YOUR PREMISE dictates.


What Happened To Etiquette?

Facebook has become the bane of my existence. Outside of the extremely useful tool of keeping in touch with friends regardless of distance, I am being inundated with useless just that is nothing more than a gigantic advertisement. But my biggest fault with Facebook comes with the users themselves and their complete disregard towards what is being put onto their feed. No matter if it's something appropriate or not, they must get that stream of consciousness out into their status or else the whole world may implode around them. Because I just couldn't go on living if I couldn't discuss Jon Snow's death with all of my friends online, the moment it happens.

I think you see where I'm going with this...

There used to be a certain etiquette when it came to spoilers that has been completely thrown out the window in recent years. With the popularity of shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, both featuring a shocking twist almost every episode, it's easy to see why this would be the case: more people are watching it and therefore more people are wanting to talk about it.

Unfortunately, we live in such an "instant gratification" society that people are looking to discuss the shows the moment that they are off the air. There is no longer any kind of grace period. It is simply expected that we stay off the internet. There's one problem with that: People have lives.

Not everyone is able to throw down what they're doing in order to watch their favorite TV shows ever week. Life gets in the way and makes the impossible for some people. So why is it that we're punishing those hardworking individuals?

Just look at Television ratings if you think I'm just being crazy. The days of sitting around the TV at an assigned time are over (if it's not a live event, of course) because on-demand is an option no matter where we look. Younger generations don't even understand the concept of not being to watch a television show in exact order, let alone what it means to have to sit down for a show or else they'd miss it. No, we live in an age where we can watch whatever we want, whenever we want to. So why have our manners gone out the window in regards to spoilers?

To be completely honest, I hope that standard TV goes the way of the dinosaurs and we are left with only Netflix/Hulu alternatives. Because if my Facebook timeline is any indication, these streaming shows are still subject to spoiler etiquette and I'm being continuously turned off by shows that aren't.

The real question now is, how long will it last?

What Ever Happened To The Amazing Spider-man?

We live in a pretty amazing time when it comes to companies working together that you never thought would. Microsoft has stated they would like to have cross-play with Sony, WWE is working with the UFC, and Sony is working with Marvel for Spider-man. All of these are exciting, but as a lifelong Spider-man fan, that's the one that excites me the most. After having set up a tremendous Cinematic Universe, Marvel has done the impossible with bringing in a character that all thought would be lost to whatever strange world Sony made for him.

You know, like that other series.

What? You're not sure what I'm talking about? Are we simply going to forget that these films even existed? It's not as crazy of a question as you may think. Even now in the year 2016, only three years removed from the second film, its existence is practically nonexistent. People have already moved onto Tom Holland and when referring to a different Spider-man, it's Tobey Mcguire. People are quickly trying to forget that Garfield ever donned the webbed spandex.

It's too bad as there is a lot of good stuff in the Amazing Spider-man series. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to defend these films. If you dislike them then your points are probably valid, just like much of the criticisms levied against the films. I can understand what people see as bad in them but I never can. No matter what dumb things they managed to cook up for Spider-man to do, it was still Spider-man in New York and that's really all this Spidey fan needed.

For as many faults as it has, one thing that it gets right is the relationship between Gwen and Peter. The chemistry between the actors is palpable and makes it so, no matter what the act is, you can imagine them doing it for each other. That is a far cry from the relationship between Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane and Tobey's Peter Parker that can only be described as flat. I don't really get caught up in on-screen romances but Gwen and Peter is one that gets me every time.

An argument or two could be made that Marc Webb doesn't quite understand what an action film entails much less a Spider-man film, which only Sam Raimi has come to nailing (although that looks to change with Homecoming), he really can build to an emotional moment. If you allow yourself to get lost in it, Gwen's death is one of the greatest character deaths in any film. Yeah, I said it. While the history behind her death transcends the scene, it's still a feat to have nailed it in such a pivotal way. While many people didn't like the film, few had a bad thing to say about that scene.

The greatest sin that the films commit are too much setup. The first one tries to reintroduce us to a story that we already know intimately, while taking subversions that just seem silly. This leaves the audience just waiting for Spider-man to show up and for us to finally get the movie we came to see. Then the second one is simply setting up two more films. While there is a lot that I enjoy in the movie, it's hard to ignore just how pompous the studio was in just assuming they could create an overstuffed movie that didn't make sense but would "pay off later" for the audience. It didn't work and is the whole reason we're in this situation to begin with.

But don't get me wrong. it's not a bad one to be in. While I did enjoy the movies, it's not the Spider-man that I always wanted to see on the Big Screen. When I see Tom Holland swing onto camera in Captain America: Civil War, it's hard not to act like a little kid inside. He nails the part and there's no controversy with the casting (a first for the Spider-man films). Which is why it's so much easier to move on: everything seems to be going so right that the mistakes just kind of get forgotten and left by the way side.

It's going to be weird in ten years because when someone mentions Spider-man, there are going to be a lot of people who don't even know what the Amazing Spider-man films are. It's going to seem like some distant memory as we're into our third or fourth Spidey film post-merger and it's a damn shame because there's a whole world that we never got to see realized. There was so much set up and intriguing aspects from a company with too big of a hubris and I'm left wondering what could have been.

It's kind of amazing isn't it?

PC Society

NOTE: Apologies for the lack of content lately. Something happened with Blogger and I haven't had access to my account for almost two weeks. I was working on something important and wasn't able to get it sorted out with Customer Support until today. To make up for it, I'll be releasing a new article every single day this week! Again, apologies for the delay.

Every day it seems as though I'm waking up to a new headline where someone is being offended about something entirely ridiculous. Recently, a lot of it involved Captain America and I couldn't help but shake my head at the nonsense being spewed out. For those not aware, Captain America was recently revealed to be secretly working for Hydra all along. Then, after an online campaign on #GetElsaAGirlfriend, those same do-gooders decided that Captain America NEEDED a boyfriend.


I'm not sure when our society decided we needed to alter our past in order to better represent our present but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. People are constantly trying to make huge alterations to characters that have largely been established for 50+ years, all to try and suit some status quo that most people fight against. The vocal minority in our society has taken up the podium in a way that we've never seen before. We even have one of those types of people running for President right now! (hint: that's not a good thing.)

So let me ask you, if there is a very famous gay character and suddenly people started say "They NEED to be straight" is the reaction anything other than fuck off? Yet when the roles are reversed, suddenly the LGBT community gets up in arms about this (and rightfully so). This kind of hypocricy is all too present in our society these days. People are so often up in arms about something that, when the roles are reversed, they couldn't be further against.

What we need isn't characters that have been established for so long, suddenly being changed at their core to meet some kind of societal pressure. No, what we need is brand new characters being created that represent today's values. Captain America was made in a time of homebred America values and represents those WW2 vets that gave up everything to save us from tyranny. Why can't we have a character created these days that fits more in line with the present?

Seems to me like more laziness on part of the people that are wanting to facilitate these changes. Sure, they want LGBT to represented in comics but they don't want to go through the hard work of making a character popular and growing them. No, they just want to take characters that have already been built and had years of hardwork put into them, changed to fit their own desirable traits. If you want LGBT characters to be represented in ANY medium then there's a very important first step:

Create them.

Super Angry Dude VERSUS Angsty Bat Guy

To be fully transparent, I must say that I had no intention of seeing BvS in theaters from the moment the first trailer was released. Having been a person that really disliked Man of Steel I knew that it would have similar sensibilities and all the footage that was released, made the film look terrible. Cut to the film's release, and it gets completely panned by critics, furthering my belief that there's no real reason to see the film in theaters, since my suspicions were confirmed true.

I was then given the option to see it in theaters for free due to a movie ticket included in my Blurays of Arrow and The Flash. Even with the free ticket, the film didn't draw me to the theater and they eventually expired. That's how little my interest was in this film despite it being a team-up of two of the biggest characters in all of comic-book-dom.

I also need to get this out of the way because I'm worried that any positive comments I make towards the film may be misconstrued: This is not a good movie. While it's not the colossal failure that many, myself included, expected it to be, it's still a mess of a film. When your third act, featuring the biggest fight of the movie, is the slowest and most boring part, then you know the film has problems on top of problems but it also shows that there was some good in the beginning.

Most of the good comes from Ben Affleck's Batman. While the competition is stiff, Affleck may be the best Batman we've ever been treated to on film. Sure, Kevin Conroy's Dark Knight from both the animated series and the Arkham series is probably the greatest overall, the fact that Affleck can come in and give all previous actors a run for their money is saying a lot. He was easily the best part of this film and is something that I really look forward to when it comes to the new film.

Not everything involving Batman is great though. His interactions with Superman are boring and uninspired, with most of his best scenes coming from interactions with criminals or Alfred. And that opening scene, going over the Wayne family death that we all know by heart, is one of the more melodramatic pieces I've ever seen. At times it felt like a music video for some kind of emo band. Add to that the Jeep Wrangler commercial that occurs a few minutes later, and you get a beginning that is one of the harder ones to get through in all of Superhero-dom.

The Justice League stuff feels so thrown together that it feels like an insult to fans. Which is too bad, because they could have easily made the transition with the same Bruce Wayne arc only without the random footage of JL members in different environments. All that did was remind me that Warner Bros. didn't jump on the JL bandwagon when they should have and are now having to fast track everything to try and catch up with Marvel.

I honestly thought that Jessie Eisenberg was going to knock the role of Lex Luthor out of the park. I figured that Snyder cast him for his "Mark Zuckerberg" performance but that isn't the case at all. No, instead Eisenberg gives what is easily the worst performance of the movie and possibly his career. I still don't understand why they decided to make him so zany and not just a disconnected genius a la The Social Network. He chews up the scenery in every single scene he's in and never once tries to reign it in. One of the final shots rests on Luthor in his cell and it's one of the most unintentionally comedic moments I've ever witnessed.

So yes, it's as bad as you could have ever thought it was but it also had some really cool stuff. Sure, the plot is nonsense and Snyder is just throwing way too much at the screen (we get World's Finest, Death of Superman, and Superman Lives all in one story) but we also get Ben Affleck as Batman which may honestly be worth all the other trouble with this movie. While the Superman side of things is still a mess, Batman's future is certainly looking bright.

Let's just hope they don't V each other again anytime soon.

Random Memories of Crystal Lake

Check out fridaythe13thfranchise.com for some truly awesome F13 content!
Originally today's post was going to cover Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but then I realized what day it was and pushed that to next week. There was just no way I could publish something on Friday the 13th and not talk about the ultimate franchise with its namesake. I'm also in the middle of putting the final touches on my book so the idea of putting something together that took any sort of forethought didn't seem very appealing to me. So I came up with a way to talk about my love for the series while also not putting any limitations on what to write about.

Here are my random thoughts about the Friday the 13th franchise.
  • Jason X gets far too much hate. There is absolutely no way that I could see myself saying this several years ago but it's become a favorite of mine in that it's just so much fun. Sure, it doesn't take advantage of one of F13's greatest assets, the camp, but it's still an entertaining time at the movies.
  • I've been falling out of love with Freddy vs. Jason more and more every time I watch it. My younger self really enjoyed the roller coaster ride it takes you on but my older self just sees a big departure from the tones of either series. Rather than a blend of the two, it's simply an action/horror film with the two villains included. It's getting to the point where I may start to forgo it next go-around.
  • I honestly believe that Part 3 is the clear-cut best of the franchise. Every time I watch it, I just see a unique move that stands out from everything else in the series. There's an odd lightness to the proceedings that contrast well with some of the darker tones that it's sandwiched between (I'd say 4 is definitely the darkest of the series).
  • Jason Takes Manhattan is another one that has grown on me. I used to absolutely despise this movie. I hated just about everything about it and couldn't understand why anyone would find it entertaining. There were many times I'd just skip it when I was going through rewatches of the series
  • I consider the 2009 "remake" to be just another sequel in the series and I don't understand how others could possibly disagree. It follows along with the continuity of the series (as well as one can in the F13 world) and provides an vicious version of Jason. What else can we as fans really ask for? I remember loving every minute of it in the theater yet it's been almost seven years since we've seen anything like it get a theatrical release. C'mon man!
  • Jason Lives is still probably the F13 movie that I watch the most. Anytime that I think "I could really go for some Jason Voorhees shenanigans" it's the first film that comes to mind. Even though it's a parody, it still hits all the right notes.
  • I'm sure I'm in the minority but I think the original may be my least favorite not named Jason Goes To Hell. Don't get me wrong, I still get a kick out of the film, I just find it much more by-the-numbers and bland. It hadn't really found its identity yet and really plods along, just trying to get across the finish line more than anything. It could just be my resentment towards Cunningham and his treatment of the franchise, but I find it a chore to sit through. There are immediate improvements from Part 2 on and I think what F13 became was more of an accident than anything.
  • A New Beginning makes for one helluva party movie. It's got the most kills in the series, and really makes no excuse for its sleaziness. It's everything you would come to expect from a F13 movie while also being so totally crazy and different that some fans hate it. I see it as harmless sleazy fun that needs to catch a break for having faux Jason. It's really not that bad. So the next time you have a Halloween party that just needs some horror visuals to put on display, I can't recommend this one enough.

"Captain America: Civil War"

This is a review/analysis of Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War." I apologize in advance but this will be absolutely filled with spoilers so make sure to avoid until after you see the film.

Now that we have that out of the way: WOW! While I can't say that I left the theater going "Holy shit, that was the best Marvel movie ever!" it was certainly a very good experience and provided a film that I'm really looking forward to seeing again. After "Age of Ultron" it was easy to see that Marvel may have some problems providing a satisfying story when over a dozen superheroes are involved but thankfully the Russo's have figured out the formula.

While I won't praise the film's pace (there are far too many talking bits that feel like rehashed information, or something being spoonfed to the audience) I still find it amazing that a film like this could be made while still very clearly being a Captain America movie. Not once do things feel lost in the shuffle, with the focus going anywhere but the main conflict going on. Even the little side tangents have an important part in the overall story.

One character I was particularly impressed with was Black Panther. This is a character that not many people know about, yet they were able to introduce him, give him purpose, and set up his solo film without feeling intrusive or an organic part of this film. The audience seemed to fall in love with him and I can easily see him being one of the big talking points of this movie. But we all know the person that stole the show...

Let's get to the main event: Spider-man.

While I really enjoy the Civil War storyline from the comics, I really disliked the angle of "Unveil your secret identity or get thrown in jail" because of what it did to my main man Spidey. If you know anything about me, you know that I have been obsessed with Spider-man since a very small age. I had an encyclopedia-level knowledge on the wall crawler, along with his very large Rogues Gallery. I had such an anticipation for the Sam Raimi film that I had difficulty sleeping for weeks leading up to its release (this is after I already spent years anticipating it due to my fanatic film news knowledge at the time). So to say that Spider-man is a big deal to me a bit of an understatement.

In fact, Spider-man was the main reason I was so excited about "Civil War" in the first place. Sure, it was going to be cool to essentially see Avengers 2.5 but seeing those characters didn't really matter to me. I just wanted to see Spider-man. And boy did he ever deliver. While I was a little disappointed that the character is CGI about 95% of the time (the only real suit we see is during a shot of Holland maskless, otherwise it's very clearly a CGI suit), the suit itself looks absolutely great. I love that this is the first "official" suit for him, and his way of obtaining it provides for suit upgrades with every movie from here on out. Costume-wise, we could be set up for one of the greatest runs in all of Marvel film (Sorry Iron Man, you had a good run).

But what makes Spider-man if not for the main behind the suit, Tom Holland. This man completely embodies the role of Peter Parker and provides that exact energy that has been needed in the Spidey role. Garfield's Spider-man was fantastic, with zingers and flowy movement, but his Peter Parker left a lot to be desired, and vice-versa for Tobey Maguire. This is really the first time where we finally have a complete package.

Oddly enough, I feel like I'm going to enjoy "Civil War" even more once I see the massive disaster known as "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" because I'll really be able to appreciate how to handle setting up character's for future films without compromising the current story (a lesson Snyder apparently never learned). While I wasn't completely blown away, I really love the story crafted and the great character moments are what make this near the front of the pack in an already impressive Marvel catalog.

Bring on Doctor Strange!

The Prince of Passion

Warning: Apologies if this article offends anyone given the freshness of Prince's death. It's a simple light-hearted opinion meant for laughs. Thanks for reading.

The music world lost an absolute legend last week and I'm just a twenty-five-year-old who is trying to figure out the significance. Death is never easy. It doesn't matter who it comes to, there is always a layer of sympathy that surrounds them. This has been something that has really bothered me, as I've seen some very shitty people suddenly martyred and turned into a wonderful person, post-death by mourners. So I'm often met with a little bit of trepidation when someone dies, and the entire world is singing their praise. I mean, just look at Michael Jackson, who was suddenly thrust back to legend status after years of just being the "King of Pedo." So, when it comes to Prince and all the wonderful things I've heard about him in recent days, I'm left wondering if he deserves it. And I mean that in the least disrespectful way possible. I am simply saying that, as an ignorant music listener, it wouldn't feel genuine for me to sing his praises just because everyone else is.

Because, like Michael Jackson before him, I can't really say that I "get" Prince. Sure, I understand that there's a large number of people that enjoy his name and I can easily identify his signature sound even without having listened to an entire CD of his. But if someone were to ask me what makes Prince a legend, I would be completely stumped. I'm not sure of his significance outside of the "Batman" soundtrack and "Purple Rain."

So I finally decided to give Prince a listen. More specifically, I decided to finally listen to his opus "Purple Rain." To say my expectations for the album have been through the roof is a bit of an understatement. I've heard nothing but incredible things about this CD since I was a kid but never really listened to it fully. Now that I have I must say... I sorta get it?

The type of music that Prince makes isn't really in line with my own musical tastes but there are moments where I was able to get lost in it. So trying to look at it from the perspective of someone that loves poppy music, I can see the appeal in his hooks and his voice is unlike anything I've ever heard before (in terms of it being unique, I wouldn't exactly call it powerful) but only one thing really cut through in its message: This album was meant to be your own personal sex soundtrack.

I'd always heard people refer to Prince as "pure sex" but I didn't really get it. He just looked like a very feminine guy who would sometimes hump his guitar. That was all I really got from his outward image without having listened to his music (apart of "Batman", of course). I didn't realize that 90% of my friends had likely been conceived to music by Prince.

Which is finally what made me "get" Prince. The connection that all of these people have with the man and his music is something so deep because it's often so associated with sex. Any of my friends over the age of 30 hold Prince in such high regard, while those under never really seem to care/know of his music. The connection with Prince isn't just a connection with some flamboyant guy who liked to dress in extravagant outfits, it's a connection with the first time they had sex in the back of their Buick Skylark. The part in Purple Rain where they remember their parents opening the door to the basement and having to put their clothes back on as quickly as possible. The virginity that they could just never seem to lose until the accompaniment by Prince finally brought all of the pieces together.

The music is one thing, but the connection that it has with our own personal events is what makes it live on forever. Prince is  fortunate to have his music be associated with some of the best times of a person's life: in the midst of throes of passion. While the time may have passed for my own deep connection with Prince's music, I can still appreciate the fact that many of my friends wouldn't be around if it weren't for his "sex in a CD" approach.

Thanks for all the unplanned pregnancies, Prince.

Vested Interest in Fighting

If you've been following around these parts recently then you are aware that I'm taking a break from WWE. I already went over the reasons, so I won't repeat that, but the lack of WWE in my life has freed up some hobby time. I mean, I went from watching Raw and Smackdown every week, plus a PPV every month, to absolutely nothing. So what on earth have I been doing to fill the time? Well, I am just so glad that you, random internet person, asked me that great question.

Since my interest in the current product of ROH is also pretty low (I really only enjoy it when they do the NJPW cross promotions), I've been going back and watching some of their older stuff. That means that old Samoa Joe, CM Punk, and Bryan Danielson matches have become the norm for me. It's been great to see the how much their product has changed over the years, as it has definitely veered more in the direction of WWE's product recently. This is more of what I always saw the Indies as when I was getting back into wrestling in 2010.

While NJPW has been great, there is a little bit of a disconnect with how the content is delivered to me. See, watching the NJPW PPV's is as easy as going to Daily Motion and finding a video. But that's just the PPV's. Getting caught up with anything else is nearly impossible. Unfortunately the TV Show that runs on AXS is nearly a year behind and those are simply cut up PPV's, set to a television format. Which means that while I'm watching Kenny Omega defend the IWGP Intercontinental Title online, I'm also seeing Shinsuke Nakamura (current NXT Superstar) defending it on Television. Can you see my frustrations?

Thankfully, when it comes to televised wrestling, Lucha Underground has got me covered. If you're a fan of wrestling and not watching the product, please change that immediately because you're missing out on some of the best stuff I've seen in years. Prince Puma (Ricochet from NJPW/ROH) and Anjelico are two people I can't wait to see on a bigger level because they are among the top performers in the world.

And I mean, NXT is ALWAYS awesome.

But there's actually been something that's got me hooked in recent months that isn't even professional wrestling. *cue audible gasp!* I know, it is rather shocking but I do actually have interests that go outside of wrestling and horror movies (although if you looked at this site, it'd be hard to say otherwise). This does fall under the same umbrella as wrestling, and were even seen as competitors for a while. I am, of course, talking about UFC.

Ever since Ronda Rousey lost her first bout (my first real experience with a UFC PPV) I've been hooked. I believe that since November, Marc and I have only missed out on one PPV. As someone that, prior to the Rousey fight, had shunned off UFC and even said afterwards that I'd not be watching another MMA PPV again, I can't tell you enough how much this recent interest in the sport has gone against what were my ways for many years. But in a time where WWE just isn't clicking with me, I need an obsession elsewhere. Enter Conor McGregor...

Based on my love for Ronda Rousey, it's no surprise that I'm also a big fan of Conor McGregor. I love fighters that can talk crap and back it up. I don't need to see two people are are very respectable and just want to get the W. No, I want to see someone that hates the person standing across from them in the octagon and wants to tear their head off. Why? I believe it's due to the fact that, with my love for wrestling, I love seeing actual heat between two foes. I love knowing that the person who is overly emotional has a distinct disadvantage as they get away from the basics of MMA and play right into their opponents head.

Head games are a complete shoot.

No matter how many times I've seen it happen, it never ceases to amaze me how Conor and Ronda can both completely psych out their opponents prior to their fights. The only fights I've seen from the both of them, where they let their emotions get the best of them, they lost the fight. This is a great lesson to take, because so often we are guided by pure emotion and don't let our intelligence take over in intense situations.

Unlike with wrestling, I never watch UFC and have a desire to get into the octagon. That is just a non-existent aspect for me. So I'm able to watch the fights, much like I do wrestling: I look at how disciplined they are, if they have a specific submission they rely on, and if they play any head games with their opponent. I find it all fascinating and am glad that I was able to get away from the "tapout/redneck" stereotype that has followed it around (which is hilarious given the perception that professional wrestling has to outsiders. How hypocritical of me).

I guess that the whole point of this post is to say that I like fighting. Whether it's staged in a squared circle or completely real in an octagon, I get a kick out of it. I blame my childhood of growing up on the Rocky movies, Power Rangers, and Stone Cold Steve Austin stunning Jabroni's (mixed reference there).

I'm gonna be single for a while...

Random Thoughts for April 2016

"The Hateful Eight" just gets better and better. I enjoyed the movie the first time that I saw it, but I was a little disappointed that it didn't leave me as stimulated as a QT film usually does. Was he losing he touch? Those fears were put aside with another viewing (this time on pristine BluRay) where I was really able to appreciate the nuances. While Tarantino works away from his usual style, the DNA is still the same, and the storytelling still shines through in a way that only a Quentin film could.

What's happening to the horror genre? The Saw franchise gave us a brief resurgence, and there's been rare gems peppered in amongst the dreck (The Witch, Insidious, The Conjuring). But why is there no trend right now? There's always a trend in horror, and while James Wan was trying to bring back the "Haunted House" flick, interest has slowly died. There's just no franchise worth latching onto these days. So why aren't some of the old classics being looked at? Why is it so difficult for them to get a Friday the 13th/Halloween/Nightmare on Elm Street going? Good horror oriented movie experiences are fairly essential parts of adolescence in my circles, so I feel bad for this younger generation that isn't being given anything.

WWE and I are on a break. If you've been following my latest posts, you've seen how disappointed I am with the product and I feel as though my only course of action in an effort to air my grievances is to just stop watching. I've done this in spurts before, but usually I'm drawn back in by the art of wrestling. But there are just too many other options now to continually sit through the nonsense that is prevalent on Monday Night Raw. So, until WWE gets their shit together, I'll be tuning into NJPW, ROH, and NXT.

"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" has been disappointing. I was a really big fan of the first season (I even finished it in about a day) but I can't seem to attach to see follow-up. While it's essentially the same show, there's something missing that I can't quite put my finger on. I'm still only a few episodes in but it's felt off the whole time. There's still plenty of time to recover, but I'm not holding out too much hope.

I've been watching old ROH shows with Bryan Danielson and CM Punk. Since I quit the Main Roster product, I had to get my fix elsewhere, so I decided to go back to some of the work that I missed or glossed over. While I had seen some matches on youtube back in college, I didn't watch them with the same level of study. Seeing them now, it's truly remarkable what they were doing to the world of wrestling. They were always going to make an impact on the industry in a big way.

Still no editor for "The Crimson Summer." I figured I would be able to find one by this point but everyone that I have talked to about potentially doing it, hasn't worked out. I have a plan in motion to get it done, but it won't be the personal touch that I was wanting for my first published book. Either way, I'm now looking at May for a release (with a trailer coming that will have the actual release date announcement).

I have some interesting plans for this summer. And by interesting, I mean: could be a total and complete waste of time but I think it will be positive for a variety of reasons. That being said, I will be loading my Kindle up with some old scripts and short stories and reading through them, seeing if anything is salvageable, even if it's just a line of dialogue or two. I think it'll also help me to grow as a writer by seeing where I came from since most of the writing will be from 10+ years ago.

The 2016 NFL season is shaping up to be incredible. As a Patriots fan, I can't believe some of the great moves we made this offseason (Martellus Bennett is going to be a deadly combo with Gronk) and how different the landscape of the NFL looks. Many key players have switched teams, with even more retiring (Calvin Johnson, you will be missed), and all big defenses have been stripped of key players. To say that this season is completely wide open is an understatement. There are predictions for the Raiders in the Superbowl and you know what? It may just happen.

Almost cancelled my Apple Music subscription then it saved itself. While I really enjoyed the fact that for only $9.99 a month--I have access to my entire music library without having to store them on my tiny 16gb iPhone, therefore allowing me to allocate the space for something else--my lack of listening to music was starting to make it pointless. Then I realized I hadn't listened to any new albums in 2016 and that I had the ultimate tool at my disposal. So I listened to six new releases all the way through, making the monthly subscription well worth it.

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The Crimson Summer - AVAILABLE NOW!!!

Synopsis: Summers at Camp Watanka are never easy. The buildings are dilapidated and the heat can be scorching, but for the teenage cam...