Thursday, January 13, 2022

Horror Movie Night Cookbook Volume 1

 Happy New Year, everyone! I hope all are safe, well, and riding out this latest COVID variant in style (and lots of movies).

I wanted to shakes things up a bit to kick off the new year, so I thought I'd give a shout out to a cookbook I received as a Christmas present:

Horror Movie Night Cookbook Volume 1, by Richard S. Sargent

Long time followers know that I often provide a suggested food and beverage pairing for the best horror movie watching experience (albeit, often tongue-in-cheek), but this fine fella Actually Wrote A Cookbook!!

Please know that I howled with delight as I tore open the wrapping paper, and then I just sat there, incredibly impressed and completely absorbed by the contents! This is damn neat cookbook!

You'll find recipes for finger food [heh], beverages, full meals, sweets, loads of horror movies and horror themes to enhance the joy.

This is not only an utterly delightful book with utterly delightful dish and drink names, but it's also really well made. A lot of work went into this project and it shows. Impressively detailed with recipes ranging from easy to difficult, as a self-admitted Not Very Good cook, I started taking it as a personal challenge to see if I could make these fine foods (the alcoholic drinks, no problem). That is to say, although covered in gore, this particular cookbook did not intimidate me. 

As of today, this is a pretty recent publication by Richard S. Sargent, which somehow made the gift that much more charming because I felt I hopped on a cool train to destination trending town. Also, as a published author myself, I really, really respect the amount of work it takes to not only get a book out in the world but also the hustle it takes to get the world to notice it. 

If you or someone you know would also enjoy this treat of a book, then you can find it here. Note, it's also available in digital format.

Great job, Richard S. Sargent, best of luck, and I look forward to seeing Volume 2.

Monday, November 22, 2021

The Vow (Television Show, 2020)

Somewhere around 2004 I watched What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? and my mind was BLOWN! Shortly there after I bought the book the documentary is based on - both the film and book still sit on my shelves. 

Fast forward many years later and I stumble across an article about this group called NXIVM, an accused cult, and I just couldn't wrap my head around about what I was reading. Sex cult? Health cult? How in the hell do you pronounce this nonsense name? And I put the article down and didn't think much more about it - it was just so ... weird.

Didn't think much more about it until I now have stumbled upon this documentary. I was looking (ready) for answers. So imagine my surprise when one of the first things that came up in the documentary was the film What the #$*! Do We (K)now!?, and I absolutely was not ready to be dragged down the sadistic rabbit hole by author and director, and previous cult member: Mark Vicente.

Let's take a look at: 

The Vow

This drama show is a terrifying look into how *easily* good people can suddenly find themselves doing monstrous things - all in the name of mental and emotional health, and helping the world be a better place. 

The story follows a handful of defectors from the cult, as soon as they found themselves riding a runaway train to destination f*cked. A real, terrible, horror crawled under my skin as I sat wondering - considering how vulnerable I've been in different stages of my life and based on this cult leader's teachings of finding the science in your well being - would I have fallen for it? 

I actually think I would have, or at least entertain the idea for a while. I am pretty certain I would not have seen 'cult' scratched into the foreheads right away. Manipulation has a very distinct and nauseating smell, however. So I'd also like to think I would have seen myself out the door as soon as that poisonous air was detected. 

This is a harrowing rollercoaster of the ride folks! Harrowing and sad, you feel for the folks (some of them...)

One thing I found so absolutely terrifying is that viewers didn't really hear, in significant detail, all the of the teachings from leader I-Think-He-Doth-Protest-To-Much-Keith Raniere. This is a Blessing! By the last episode you're pretty bombarded with his damaging words and I don't think I would have been able to handle more than one episode of that. Physically, mentally painful just watching snippets of a video tape. I am speechless at what it must have been like for victims, in person. 

Escaping abusive relationships is the most dangerous time for escapees, and this documentary not only documents the cult's growth but also the escapes and take-down by law enforcement. It's a rollercoaster - a very real, very scary, very dangerous rollercoaster. 

This stuff scares me. The real horror stories.

Best watched alone, and when you think you have all your shit together. Pairs with food you love (and DON'T count the calories!). 

I watched this film on HBO or use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to see where else you can find this nightmare of a decades long situation. 

Take care folks! Don't get sucked into cults!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Capture of the Green River Killer (2008)

After an intense horror movie binge in October, I typically take a break and turn to a humor binge (currently Curb Your Enthusiasm). But this year I'm also spicing it up with a lot - a lot! - of murder. 

Murder podcasts, TV shows, or documentaries -  these things can be playing in my apartment background all day, often while I'm choring, painting or cross stitching. While these horrifying stories can often stop me suddenly in my tracks with their real life nightmares, the Green River Killer sends a very specific chill up my spin.

At 19, in the late '90s, I was living near the SeaTac Strip. Folks, I was literally grocery shopping in Gary Ridgway's hunting grounds! It gives me a very specific chill knowing that he was wandering the area as I was there...

Let's check out:

While the Green River Killer gives me a very specific chill, nothing compares with my own brush with a serial rapist and murderer. I feel I shared this story before but to recap:

In 2004 I was walking down the street, living my best life, when a car rolled up and the man driving it asked me if he could give me a ride. I turned to him and said politely, "You have a nice day".

Folks, this piece of shit suddenly, frighteningly, and immediately started screaming at me. Shouting "I'm just trying to be nice!!" Oh I knew I was in big, big trouble right then. He kept rolling his car along side me as I kept walking - looking forward but taking glances over to him. Heart racing. He was so angry I feared he was going to jump out of his car and come after me. 

I arrived at a bus stop and turned to see that a bus was, by a miracle, coming up the road. Thankfully, this walking form of diarrhea was also holding up traffic at this moment and other cars began honking. He continued screaming incoherently as I jumped on that bus so fast. I got a good look at him though as the bus pulled up. This fucking douche canoe had a face you couldn't forget. 

So imagine my surprise when - now 5 years later - while carrying a plate of my dinner to the living room, I saw his face on the evening news. I about dropped my plate, especially when I saw he was sentenced to life in prison for a 2004 assault, rape, and murder spree. I was one of his targets. 



So that's my escape from a real life monster. Let's take a look at another one. 

When I turned this on I had no idea it was a miniseries (3 hours long). When the opening credits began rolling I thought to myself, "...the font makes this look like a Lifetime movie...". About halfway through I realized *it is* a Lifetime movie! Oh fonts.

Within the first 30 minutes though is when I really, strongly, believed it was a Lifetime film. There are signs. It also had a strange Hallmark movie feel so I was a little confused. In all, it took about 45 minutes to really get into this show. As things progressed though, and the hunt for the killer intensified, I really got into it. 

This particular show follows both the King County detectives trying to track down a serial killer, and a side story that ominously follows a young woman who falls right into the murder's demographic. It's a little weird, rather kind of good, and in true Lifetime (and Hallmark) movie style, I got a little weepy by the end. 

In short, this was a rather decent show. I also read somewhere that this miniseries was one of the most watched on Lifetime, when released. It's haunting and has some moving moments, despite it's occasional awkwardness. 

In all, if you are into the murder stories - check this one out. If you like Lifetime films then I'm almost certain you'll enjoy this one. If you don't like Lifetime films still give this one a shot - it might surprise you. 

Best watched alone or with one best friend, surrounded by boxes of paper, files, and evidence. Pairs with TV dinners and bottles of beers. 

I watched this film on Amazon Prime or use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to see where else you can find this quirky but solemn feature. 

I wish the victims and families of this monster peace. Fuck off, Gary.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Happy Halloween! Here's 18 Short Horror Films You Need To See! (2021 edition)

 October Challenge Day 31:

Happy Halloween everyone!! Here is 18 brilliant short horror films to spook up your day.

Why 18 you ask? Because this is the 8th month of the old Roman calendar and the 10th month of the current calendar. BRAINS!

So without further ado, below is my pick of some of the best out there. With a review of 18 words or less, and in no particular order, please enjoy Horror Habit's 2021 Short Horror Film Festival.

*Note, Blogger has gone through an update and I can no longer embed videos as I have done in previous years. Simply click on the title links - they'll take you directly to the films.

My First Time: Oh dear. This one night stand went got terribly, terribly out of hand.

Shutdown: Not pandemic related, but certainly going into the office (or not!) related. 

Tagged: What's in the photo! What's in the photo!!!

The Shoes: These shoes hold a massive, massive grudge. 

Bill: Folks, don't call up what you can't put down!

Wash: I was doing the laundry when I found this - alarmingly frightening. 

Televised: A nice little experiment in sound and visuals - compliments of the TV.

Window Dressing: When decorations take on a life of their own!

Nibble: Well, this got gross right quick...

Tending The Rabbits: A fever dream of art house horror - not for everyone.

Charlie Boy: Absolutely outstanding! I have no more words! Outstanding! Utterly terrifying and heartbreaking!

Kissed: Don't do that, mortuary tech - don't do that! Warned you!

Mr. Dentonn: A slender man, classic boogey man, and babadook meet. 

Campfire Story: Gather around and hear another spin on a classic story! Fun, funny, and freaky.

Gotcha: A stylish little creature feature!

Maisie: Uh Oh! That's not your typical children's doll! Brilliant opening. 

Bad Omen: And now for a little killer kid fun!

Wandering Soul: Oh, well, this is all sorts of f*cked up!

Monday, November 1, 2021

Ravenous (1999)

October Challenge Day 30:

Over the last couple of years, with my mother's passing, my cancer diagnosis, and my husband dying - I'm going to say I was under some pressure. 

I recently turned on this film and watched how horrified Guy Peace was at the sight of food and I 100% totally understood. 

Over the last few years my diet went to shit. 

Let's check out Ravenous:

I don't understand stress eating - I can't eat at all when stressed. I physically can't even force myself. The idea of food is putrid. 

This film is a favorite of mine, but it wasn't until recently that I really thought about how great this film is. 


And it's about food. Sort of. Which I have, to this day, regular arguments with. We're working on it.

This film blew my mind when my life was normal, but it really blew my mind when I'm cramming little slices of  meat, cheese, and crackers in my mouth because that's all that will fit with my jaw stress locked. 

I was in Reno, NV for work when I was driven to the Donner Party camp site by a co-worker. Seeing  how high the snow was at the time of their harrowing ordeal was - not good. I was horrified. I think a lot about this memory when I think of this film. 

Here we have a story about people making their way West, they get stranded by a snow storm, and a Wendigo comes along... Let's throw in a remote military outpost, a motley cast of characters, an excellent script and plot, and we have a very thrilling adventure on our hands. Bonus, the soundtrack is so perfect! It just perfectly captures the humor and horror of this film.

I've even fallen asleep to this film a few times *just* for the soundtrack - it's soothing, charming, funny, and calmly quirky. 

People often ask what my favorite horror film is and I cannot answer that. I can only state what films are some of my favorite based on a time, place, mood, etc. I can say though that military focused horror stories rise to represent some of my most favorite type of horror story (e.g. Dog Soldiers, Overlord, Dead Snow, Under The Shadow, this film of course, etc...). While this film doesn't always pop out of my mouth right away when asked this question, know that it is in fact one of my very favorites - which is why I chose it to close out this year's October Challenge. 

If you haven't seen it yet then what are you waiting for!? It's brilliant! And I will probably never stop falling asleep to the film just for the soundtrack, lololololo.

Best watched in a small group, pairs with food that horrifies you. Specifically meat. 

I own this film or use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to see where else you can find this amazing gem of a feature.