Monday, December 5, 2016

Ready. Set. Love.
Love not only captures your heart but tickles your funny bone in these five fabulous romantic comedies. My story Waking Up to Love leads off the set, but there are four more novels that are just as funny and just as romantic. Check 'em out.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy, happy Turkey Day! Hunger pains will go away!

Well, ladies and gentlemen… Today is American Thanksgiving Day… or as I like to call it: “National Re-Watch Addams Family Values Day.” Now for most people, it’s a day of food, family, and football. (I’d add a fourth F-word, but most couples are back at some family member’s house, which usually means that the mood isn’t right.)
Anyway, as far as holidays go, this one is kind of all-over-the-place. I personally have very little emotional attachment to pilgrims, and turkey is probably my fifth favorite variety of poultry. Growing up in a non-religious household, there wasn’t a lot of praying going on at the dinner table (aside from the few mumbled times I whispered, “Please, please, don’t let anyone mention politics”). I have vague memories of everyone taking turns announcing what they’re thankful for, though I think everyone except for grandparents was being sarcastic. But yeah, I still did all the traditional stuff. Leftover sandwiches. Parade-watching. I’m sure I made a whole flock of paper turkeys with my handprints.
(Fun Fact: a group of turkeys is not called a flock. It’s called a rafter. Because bird enthusiasts have way too much time on their hands.)
All of this is a long of saying: Happy Thanksgiving, world. While this holiday isn’t a particularly important one, at least not for me, it does occupy a very special place in my heart.
Because of the stuffing.
Also, a group of bluejays is called a party. Why can’t we just eat them instead?

Monday, November 14, 2016


So this is me at the day job.
I feel so lucky to be working at
the British School of Zanzibar.
It is such a happy and creative place.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

MERLIN and the WAR of the DRAGONS: A True Story

I’ve never seen the British TV program Merlin. That type of fantasy just isn’t my thing. And even if it were, I would probably go with something a little more well-regarded. Game of Thrones, perhaps. That’s the show that everyone and his mother recommends to me. And I have to tell everyone and his mother that fantasy just isn’t my thing.
Anyway, Merlin is a TV show. And it’s also a mockbuster of the TV show. This Merlin, like the show’s main character, is a young and inexperienced wizard. This time, though, there’s no King Arthur. Not yet, anyway. Instead, we have a half-brother who has a dragon army. It’s pretty legit for a mockbuster, and much less of a time commitment than, say, a certain HBO show that has about forty lead characters.
I know it’s been a while since I’ve had a mockbuster come out, but this one should hit the spot. It’s about dragons!


Monday, October 31, 2016

Best Halloween Wishes... all the way from a pineapple under the sea!

Happy Halloween!

A quick note on my Halloween movie marathon:

This year, I invited a few friends over to bask in the neon orange glow of a communal Halloween fright fest. We gathered in my tiny living room in my tiny house on this tiny island, switched on my laptop computer, and started watching Hocus Pocus.

As someone who has lived in foreign countries for the last five years, someone who has no patience for things like “nostalgia” or “home sickness,” I definitely felt a twinge of both every time the Sanderson sisters were on screen. It was a wonderful way to start the marathon, and while I was definitely more involved in the emotional ups and downs of Max and his talking cat, I think my party guests were at least slightly amused by the whole thing. (Only one other person had actually seen this movie before. Charlatans.)

Our second film, Leprechaun 3 (the one in Las Vegas) was a much rowdier experience for all. Dirty limericks, sex-robots, and wild bursts of violence make this movie my hands-down favorite in the Leprechaun franchise, and I’m pleased to announce that my party guests seemed to like it, too. At least, that’s what they said.

The final movie in our trilogy was Teen Witch, which deflated the group’s enthusiasm just a tad. I mean, we all had fun (particularly during the musical numbers, or any scene with the little brother), but sleepiness was starting to seep into things, and we all had work or school in the morning.

That said, I don’t regret my choices in film. These three movies represent everything I want from a Halloween experience: violence, gore, hijinks, music, costumes, witchcraft, and a group of friends to share everything with.

Also sex-robots.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sea Life

This little guy washed up
on the shore next to my house.
It made me pretty sad.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Just keep spinning. Just keep spinning.

Click HERE for my latest review.

Hansel vs. Gretel: Grudge Match of the Stars

So The Asylum doesn't usually do sequels unless it's to one of their shark movies (the Sharknado franchise will outlive us all). No Snakes on a Train 2. No Age of the Hobbits 2. No freaking Avengers Grimm 2. But for some reason, they decided to sequelize Hansel and Gretel. No idea why. The first one had ET's mother as the human-eating witch. This one does not. Neither are masterpieces. Both are really fun.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Age of Tomorrow: the lumpiest little movie in town

So these mockbuster reviews are aging me horribly. The newest one: Age of Tomorrow. Check out the article now!
(Spoiler: This character is not in the movie.)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I Am Omega. You Are Omega. We All Are Omega.

I am Omega. I am an ultra-cheap ripoff of a Will Smith movie. I am full of grainy visuals and awkward silences. I have a dull thud of an ending. I was reviewed by Evan on Slickster.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back in the Hobbit

Age of the Hobbits
Clash of the Empires
Lord of the Elves

Whatever the name, this film is... something. Check out my delightful mockbuster review.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Meat Pies and All That

Out of all the really famous fairy tales out there, Hansel and Gretel is perhaps the most morbid. Little Mermaid (at least in its original form) is probably the saddest (give or take a Little Match Girl). Sleeping Beauty has some of the creepiest undertones. Beauty and the Beast does, too. But all those stories (again, give or take a Match Girl) could be Disney-fied pretty easily. Take out some of the murder and self-mutilation and eye-gouging, and you have a perfectly nice, family friendly story about princesses being dainty.

Hansel and Gretel, on the other hand, has darkness woven into its very fibers. Try to sanitize it all you want, but the entire story is built around cannibalism, child abandonment, kidnapping, forced labor, and murder. Take out any of those elements and the story doesn't make any sense.
Not surprisingly, the good folks at Asylum have seen the potential for horror and made Hansel and Gretel, a modern-day horror film starring Dee Wallace from E.T. It's grisly and sick, just like the source material. Of course, this being an Asylum film, the movie is actually a rip-off of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, a minor hit that may (but most probably may not) get a sequel.

If you're a horror fan, check out my Slickster Magazine review of the film to see just how many body parts fly toward the camera. Spoiler alert: there's a lot.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


And here it is, ladies and gentlemen... The end of my film festival experience. I'd like to say things ended on a high note, because I did have a lot of fun with these last two days of films. The most depressing stuff is behind me, and all that's left are heartwarming documentaries, Beyoncé, and some drugs.
Honestly, film festivals are always so much fun. I consider myself a big film buff, but sometimes I take cinema for granted. With YouTube and streaming services and all sorts of websites, so many movies are at my fingertips that I forget to pay attention sometimes. Being at a film festival (sometimes sitting right next to a director or producer) forced me to pay attention, even if the movie in question had a rough patch or two.
Go to Slickster Magazine to see how it all ends. I'll give you a hint: there were riots.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Four Score and Seven Beheadings Ago

The 4th of July is about a month in the past, and Labor Day is about a month ahead. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are in the holiday dead zone of August (not counting my birthday and, more importantly, Shark Week). I think it's about time we get a nice boost of patriotism to keep us going through the long, celebration-less summer.
That's right, guys. Now is the perfect time to check out Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies. This historical documentary tells us all about the real secrets behind Lincoln's historic presidency and tragic death. You may have though you already learned the truth when Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer came to theaters, but you were wrong. This mockbuster is 100% truthier.
Of course, just in case the film isn't your cup of tea, head on over to Slickster Magazine to check out my rock-solid review. It's particularly spoilerific (Lincoln gets shot), but hopefully that won't stop you from watching this important historical document on your all-American laptops.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


First of all, today is my birthday, so I'm in a particularly cheerful mood. Turning 30 does not, as some have said, make you start feeling like the Crypt Keeper. I think I have a good five years or so before that happens.

Yeah, I'm stoked about being a 30something. It's going to be my decade. I can feel it.

Anyway, here's part three of my ZIFF experience. Please note that at this point in the experience, my snark is really starting to come out. But I still had a blast.

And check back in sometime this week for the final wrap-up. In the meantime, I'm going to check my eyebrows for gray hairs.

Thursday, August 4, 2016


ZIFF continued to offer a bunch of wildly depressing movies. One in particular stood out for having incest, infidelity, attempted suicide, and abandonment all in the same steaming hot pile of soap opera nonsense. It was amazing.

Anyway, here are my continuing adventures with the biggest cultural event in all of East Africa.

Monday, August 1, 2016

I feel the earth move under my feet.

Earthquakes are the closest thing to a phobia that I have. The idea that your house--what should be your safe space--could crush you to death on some random Tuesday really freaks me out. I'm not the biggest fan of disaster movies in general (they tend to make mass casualties seem unimportant). I find them particularly numbing.

So... I don't like earthquakes and I don't like disaster movies. Then why, for the love of God, did I see San Andreas Quake?


It's part of my job. As a weekly columnist for Slickster Magazine, I have to write snarky little reviews about mockbusters, and guess what A-list Dwayne Johnson action film just got mockbusted? That's right: San Andreas. I did not see that movie, but I saw the cheaper equivalent.

No comment.

(To the YouTuber who uploaded this scene: THANK YOU!)

Sunday, July 31, 2016


Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, so my complete film festival experience. For those of you who don't know, I spent nine days watching literally dozens of films Clockwork Orange-style. My eyes are killing me, but I can't wait to share my experiences with all of you.
Here's a basically meanless teaser to tie you over:
I saw some good films and some bad films. I saw at least three films that desperately wanted me to cry. I saw a movie about Beyoncé that didn't include Beyoncé in it. I saw a cartoon about World War I and short films about clothes, salt, rock music, and brothers punching each other for the greater good. I saw lots of movies about race, and even more about women's right. I saw a movie with a magic doll in it, and another movie about lady soccer players.
Nine days, hundreds of hours, thirty films. It was an experience.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Giant Robots. Shrug.

So The Atlantic Rim doesn't really exist. The Pacific Rim is a real thing. It's part of geography. But the Atlantic Rim... nope.

When Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim came out, the marketing madmen at Asylum decided to release their similar-in-every-way-except-quality mockbuster Atlantic Rim. The movie makes as much sense as its title, which is one way of saying YEEESH. Don't see this movie.

But you can always read my lovely review of it. I try not to hold anything back. Barring vomit. I held back a bit of vomit as I was writing the review. Acid reflux, you understand.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Once upon a nightmare.

Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorite Disney films. I think it's hands-down the prettiest movie in their vault. I could get lot in the twisting, angular backgrounds. And the Tchaikovsky music... dang. It's an all-around masterpiece.

The Asylum version, released the same month as Disney's Maleficent, is... let's say... worse. It's fun and campy, but I couldn't see myself getting lost in the awkward CGI. Is it a train wreck? No. But it is a very strange passion project from a B-list action star whom I will not mention in this post. Check out the review. I promise you won't fall asleep.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Keggers for Kiddies

Alpha House is a low budget frat comedy from The Asylum. It is also reprehensible, a hollow nothing of a movie that smears poop on everyone involved. Check it out.