Rites of Azathoth (Horror)

F.B.I. criminal profiler Diana Mancuso doesn’t do field work anymore. Not since a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives. But when notorious serial killer Luther Vayne escapes from prison and resumes his campaign of brutal murders, the Bureau convinces her to take one last case.

To catch him, she must understand him. She must delve into the arcana that fuels his madness, risking her life and her sanity to follow his twisted path.

The trail plunges her into a shadowy world of occult rituals and unspeakable horrors, leading to a secret cabal operating at the highest levels—and a plot to summon the darkest of all powers, to bring forth an evil that does not belong in our world—to enact the Rites of Azathoth.

Keep Reading!

Twilight Zone Tuesday – And When the Sky Was Opened

And When the Sky Was Opened

And When the Sky Was Opened Original Air Date: December 11, 1959

Lieutenant Colonel Clegg Forbes – Rod Taylor
Major William Gart – Jim Hutton
Colonel Ed Harrington – Charles Aidman
Amy – Maxine Cooper

Keep Reading!

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #11

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

03/11/2017 – 03/17/2017

The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.

If you missed the first post you can find it here.

Well, we’re really getting into it now, aren’t we? I can feel you holding my hand but not quite so tight, if you please. Wait. That’s not your hand?

Keep Reading!

Over the River (Horror)

The horse knows the way

To carry the sleigh

Through the tear and bloodstained snow…

Joslyn Faust passed away in 1940, after losing all but one of her children to death. The Weatherby Mills history books paint her as a kind, generous woman, willing to lend a hand to any one of her neighbors. Weatherby Mills lore, however, blames her ghost for the deaths of at least four men.

That’s where Delilah Isles and Milly West come in.

Working for the New England Spirit Society, the women have seen many violent and cruel attacks by human spirits and non-human entities. After all, the most violent and disturbing cases come to them. They know the myths about Joslyn Faust, so when the case comes their way they are both anxious to start investigating and uncertain whether or not it’s a case for N.E.S.S. But the first time they set foot on the Faust property that uncertainty is vanquished, because Joslyn Faust turns out to be a whole lot darker than they anticipated.

Keep Reading!

Twilight Zone Tuesday – Judgement Night

Twilight Zone Tuesday – Judgement Night

Carl Lanser – Nehemiah Persoff
Captain Wilbur – Ben Wright
Miss Barbara Stanley – Deirdre Owens
Major Devereaux – Leslie Bradley
Potter – Hugh Sanders
First Officer McLeod – Patrick McNee
Lt. Mueller – James Franciscus
Narrator – Rod Serling

Keep Reading!

The Blair Witch – Movie Review

Blair Witch – Movie Review

After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch.

 

James – James Allen McCune
Lisa Arlington – Callie Hernandez
Ashley – Corbin Reid
Peter – Brandon Scott
Lane – Wes Robinson
Talia – Valerie Curry

 

After hearing that the movie filming under the name of ‘The Woods’ was really Blair Witch, I was very excited to see it. I loved The Blair Witch Project and I even love it’s sequel, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. Despite it’s generally poor reception Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 was a decent enough follow-up to The Blair Witch Project. It certainly would have left a better legacy than the confused mess that is Blair Witch.

Keep Reading!

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #10

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

03/04/2017 – 03/10/2017

The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.

Each day I’ll be reading one story per day with a weekly wrap-up on Fridays. If you missed the first post you can find it here.

It’s dark, it’s cold…so cuddle close and we’ll find the light in the darkness together. Maybe, providing the flashlight batteries don’t die.

 

Keep Reading!

Upside Down (Dark Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi)

Book cover for Upside DownUpside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is an anthology of short stories, poetry, and essays edited by Monica Valentinelli and Jaym Gates. Over two dozen authors, ranging from NYT-bestsellers and award winners to debut writers, chose a tired trope or cliche to challenge and surprise readers through their work.

Read stories inspired by tropes such as the Chainmaille Bikini, Love at First Sight, Damsels in Distress, Yellow Peril, The Black Man Dies First, The Villain Had a Crappy Childhood, The Singularity Will Cause the Apocalypse, and many more…then discover what these tropes mean to each author to find out what inspired them.

Join Maurice Broaddus, Adam Troy-Castro, Delilah S. Dawson, Shanna Germain, Sara M. Harvey, John Hornor Jacobs, Rahul Kanakia, Alethea Kontis, Valya Dudycz Lupescu, Haralmbi Markov, Sunil Patel, Kat Richardson, Nisi Shawl, Ferrett Steinmetz, Anton Strout, Michael Underwood, Alyssa Wong and many other authors as they take well-worn tropes and cliches and flip them upside down.

Keep Reading!

Red vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide (Sci-Fi Series Guide)

Red vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide

 

In Red vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide, the series creators at Rooster Teeth bring together more than a decade’s worth of ephemera and behind-the-scenes information. Inside you’ll find:

– Character dossiers
– Character-driven lists, including “The Wisdom of Caboose”
– Charts and statistics mapping out character, world, and episode trivia, such as how many times Simmons has sucked up to Sarge over the course of the series
– The best Red vs. Blue quotes ever of all time
– Alternate stories and unexplored character arcs
– Spotlights on the Red vs. Blue cast and crew, who share unique anecdotes, behind-the-scenes stories, and insights into the award-winning series
– Shooting scripts, including cut lines, deleted scenes, and trivia
– More than 200 full-color images       (It helps when there are pictures – Caboose)
– And more

  The thing I love the most about Red vs. Blue is that you don’t need to be a Halo fan to enjoy it. I am a gamer but I’ve never really played Halo. I found out about Red vs. Blue the old-fashioned way: My nephew watched it, showed my son and after my son tied me to a chair and made me watch season 9, I was hooked. Now we have them all and we’re eagerly awaiting season 15.

Keep Reading!

Twilight Zone Tuesday – Perchance to Dream

Perchance to Dream

 

 

Edward Hall – Richard Conte
Dr. Eliot Rathmann – John Larch
Maya/Miss Thompson – Suzanne Lloyd
Narrator – Rod Serling
Written by Charles Beaumont


Highlight to see Trigger Warnings: Jump-scares in a fun house, a man jumps out of a window, effectively committing suicide in a dream. A body on a couch. End Spoiler.


We open on a zoomy freaky PoV shot of a very tall office building. Soon we see the man who’s point of view we are sharing.

Serling:
12:00 noon, an ordinary scene, an ordinary city, lunchtime for thousands of ordinary people. To most of them this hour will be a rest, a pleasant break in the day’s routine. To most, but not all. To Edward Hall, time is an enemy. And the hour to come is a matter of life and death.

Edward Hall looks like he’s working up his nerve to enter through the scary revolving door. Can’t say I blame him, those things are freaky. Only slightly less freaky than escalators. Finally he peels himself off the pillar he’s on, only to lean against the wall of the building. Well, that’s progress, I guess. Eddie finally makes his way through the revolving door.

He goes to door 1410 Eliot Rathmann M.D. He goes through the reception area into the doctor’s office, after he takes a good long look at the receptionist.

Eddie oozes into Dr. Elliot office and leans on a desk, the doctor thinks Eddie is ill but he says “No, I’m just tired.” Dr. Eliot says Eddie needs to rest and leads Eddie over to one of those famous leather couches. I’m curious, do psychiatrists actually use those? Eddie closes his eyes for a moment. Things get a little dimmer. They brighten back up though as he pops up from the couch. Dr. Eliot wants to know if Eddie’s so tired then why doesn’t he lay down. Edward says he is tired, he’s been up for 87 hours. Almost 4 days.

Dr. Eliot asks why Eddie can’t go to sleep and Eddie says that it’s not that he can’t, it’s that he mustn’t. If he falls asleep he’ll never wake up. And we actually get the DUN DUN DUNNN music!

When the lights fade up again the doctor is lighting Eddie’s cigarette for him. Eddie wants to walk around so he doesn’t fall asleep. Dr. Eliot tells him to stand on his head if he thinks it will help. Eddie thinks he’s a strange sort of psychiatrist. Dr. Eliot chuckles and asks what Eddie expected, Sigmund Freud? He says he’s thought of wearing  disguise and puts on a pair of glasses.

Eddie doesn’t think the psychiatrist can help him and says he only came to see the psychiatrist because his regular doctor suggested it. Eddie wants to leave and Dr. Eliot says to do as he pleases. Eddie wants to know if Dr. Eliot promises not to put him in a strait-jacket but the psychiatrist promises nothing. He’s actually pretty funny. Eddie wanders over to the window to look at a very nicely painted city scene. He opens the window and looks down at the drop. I think it’s weird that  the window of a psychiatrist’s office would even open or be made of real glass.

Dr. Eliot pulls him back in and closes the windows. Eddie’s amused and says he just wanted some air. He wants to know if the doctor thought he was going to jump. Dr. Eliot says he doesn’t know, hence the need for caution. Eddie says there’s not a chance of that. Dr. Eliot tells him to start from the beginning and now we finally get to why Eddie is at the psychiatrist’s office.

Eddie looks at a painting of a ship on the wall. He wants to know if the doctor has ever really looked at it. Eddie says he can make it move. At least, for him. He starts telling the doctor about having a picture similar to the picture of the ship at his home when he was younger. Eddie’s mother told him to watch it long enough and it would move. Which seems a little mean but before TV mom’s did what they could to keep their kids amused.

One evening it did move. He realized that it was just an optical illusion but after a while he couldn’t control it. Every time he would look at the painting it would seem to move. Even though he knows it’s an optical illusion it still terrifies him. A boat moving terrifies him? Mmmkay.

Eddie pops a few uppers and the Dr. Eliot wants to know if that’s how he’s staying awake. He also washes it down with some of the doc’s water (that I thought was brandy at first. While smoking a cigarette that Dr. Eliot helpfully lit for him. Damn, they were hardcore back then. After everything he’s just downed he says he has had a rheumatic heart since the age of 15. I’m sure those uppers and smokes will do that rheumatic heart real good there.

He was ordered by his general physician to be calm and relaxed. No strenuous exercise, no long walks, no stairs, no shocks. especially no shocks. They forgot about his imagination that he apparently has no control over. At all.

When he read about a woman being killed by a murderer who hid in her backseat (which sounds like something he heard from a friend of a friend) that freaked him out. He imagined the murderer in his own backseat. So much so that he crashed his car. Eddie says that his doctor told him one more shock would kill him.

Dr. Eliot wants to know if there has been another shock. Um, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t doctor because he’s alive and in your office. Eddie does say, however, that there will be, the next time he goes to sleep and it will kill him.

Eddie starts talking about his dreams and how he always dreams in sequence, like the old movie serials. He hasn’t dreamed in a while. That is, until a few weeks ago. We get an awesomely thrilling detailed description of his night and how he fell asleep.

Dreamland:
Eddie suddenly finds himself in an amusement park. It’s very real and detailed but also very disturbing, twisted and dark.
He’s looking at a Ferris Wheel, a creepy carousel. Eddie’s shooting at a big swirly thing trying to win one of those terrifying Kewpie Dolls. Who the hell would want one of those things? They rank right up there with Troll dolls on the creepy scale.

Don’t Worry. I’m Just Here to Steal Your Soul. It Won’t Hurt…Much

 

Come…Join the Cult. Just Look Deep Into Our Soulless Gaze

 

Anyways, Eddie gets distracted by a dancer named Maya the Cat Girl. So he ditches the Kewpie Doll (wise decision) to go check out the Cat Girl. Maya does a very awkward ‘cat dance’ that is out of rhythm with the drum-beats.

She shows some fifties risque leg (they are very nice legs though) She starts twirling and he gets scared and runs away. She laughs an evilly brunette laugh at him.

They might be pushing the G – Rating a bit thigh high with thhis one

Eddie says he doesn’t know who she is (duh, she’s Maya the Cat Girl). He’s drawn to her but also repelled by her. He goes to light a dream-cigarette but finds out the random arm lighting his cigarette belongs to Maya. She wants to know why he ran away. They have some flirty talk while they share a smoke. Well, not share, exactly. She plucks it out of his mouth which is supposed to be sexy, I guess.

She wants Eddie to come with her but he’s scared to. Because of her cat eyes. Which are kind of scary because she went a little crazy with the eye-liner. She asks him if he’s afraid and he says no because it’s a dream. She then invites him to come…and I’ll just back away from that one.

He rudely drops his cigarette, littering his dream carnival. She wants to go in the fun house which she says is cool, dark ad soft. He foolishly follows her into the ‘fun house’ that looks more like a cheap haunted house and it doesn’t look that fun. Or that scary, really. They share a smoochie but are rudely interrupted by a scream and a gorilla-bigfoot thing. Eddie runs off while Maya evilly laughs again.

Office:
Back in the office Eddie is telling Dr. Eliot that he’s sure Maya is trying to kill him. He woke up with his heart beating fast (I’ll bet) and he had to lie still for an hour until it settled down. Dr. Eliot asks if Eddie knew her. Which he literally just said he didn’t, I’m starting to wonder about this doctor. Eddie says that she looks vaguely familiar but doesn’t really recognize her.

Dreamland:
The dream is out of control now and Eddie’s running. Maya is close behind and taunting him with the fact it’s only a dream and he can do whatever he wants to in his dream. She lures him onto a roller-coaster using strong-arm tactics like, you know, asking. He doesn’t want to go but he’s helpless against her sequins. So they get on the coaster Maya is chuckling (and to be honest her voice and laugh is pretty creepy). He wants to stop the coaster but they can’t and he keeps saying he wants out. So, reasonably enough, she tells him to jump off the coaster. Sounds legit.

Office:
We’re in a slightly terrifying close-up of Eddie’s face. Basically he’s in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. If he falls asleep she’ll reach him and push him off (I guess safety harnesses weren’t a thing in the fifties) but if he stays awake any longer then the strain will be too much and his heart will give out. Eddie thinks the doctor can’t help him and goes to leave. Eddie steps out into the lobby but sees the receptionist. Eeek! It’s Maya! Receptionist Maya this time, not Cat Girl Maya. He freaks out and runs back into the doctor’s office. Dr. Eliot wants to know what is the matter. Eddie says it’s her, it’s Maya the Cat Girl. Dr. Eliot says that the receptionist isn’t named Maya. Eddie says to himself “I’m not letting her take me alive!” And jumps out of a window. Makes sense. I guess. Eddie plummets to the sidewalk. I guess it wasn’t until later that the unbreakable windows caught on.

Back to the doctor, he is sitting at his desk and looking thoughtful. He calls his receptionist (Miss Thomas) in. Eddie is dead on the couch. Dr. Eliot checks his pulse. I’m not really sure why he wanted the receptionist to come look at the dead guy on his couch. Miss Thomas says he just came in a few seconds ago. Dr. Eliot says Eddie came in, laid down and in two seconds was asleep. (Remember the ominous dimming?)
Dr. Eliot says that Eddie screamed and died. They guess it was a heart attack. Well, I guess they’re not going to bother with resuscitation or an ambulance or pesky little details like that. Dr. Eliot thinks it was a good way to go at least, peacefully in his sleep. I think Eddie would disagree.

Serling:
They say a dream takes only a second or so. And yet in that second a man can live a lifetime. He can suffer and die and who’s to say which is the greater reality. The one we know? Or the one in dreams. Between heaven, the sky, the earth, in the Twilight zone.


As you can tell this one was good but I just couldn’t help poking fun at it every once in a while. It does have a wavering air of reality and unreality. Such as Miss Thomas/Maya. When Edward first enters the building he takes a good long look at her and it doesn’t seem to bother him overly much. As he’s “leaving” though, he suddenly seems to realize that she looks just like Maya. And is the personality of the doctor really so flip or is that just what Edward’s mind conjured up? It certainly raises some interesting questions.


Join me again for next week’s Twilight Zone Tuesday – Judgement Night. A great episode with a bit more of a serious bent to it. I’m looking forward to ‘watching’ it with you guys!

  • FTC Disclaimer

    While Scifi and Scary does review books that they own or check out from the library, a large number of books do come from authors or publishers who have submitted the work in exchange for an honest review.

    Also, unless otherwise stated, please assume that all cover images and synopses come from Goodreads or IMDB and belong to the respective owners for the work. All items are used for the purpose of review under fair use terms.

  • Amazon Associate Disclaimer

    Scifi and Scary Book Reviews is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.

    * “Amazon, the Amazon logo, MYHABIT, and the MYHABIT logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.”*

  • I love Audible. Tons of books, fantastic narrators, good prices.