Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez is a fun, quick read I recommend for those of us that enjoy fantasy stories that don’t take themselves too seriously. It begins with the unlikely (in other universes) pairing of a vampire and a werewolf.
While passing through the town of Rockwood, rough werewolf Duke and self-doubting vampire Earl end up in an out-of-the-way diner. They find out that this is no ordinary diner- it has a recurring zombie attack problem. Earl and Duke help the diner’s owner Loretta work together to fend off an attack and stay on as workers to help solve the undead issue. The zombies, however, are only a symptom of the real problem; local teenager Tammy is hell-bent on bringing the old gods back to this dimension and ruin things for everyone.
Gil’s All Fright Diner is a simple story written with plenty of humor. I really enjoyed the character development of Duke and Earl, but was a bit disappointed in the female characters. For example, I was left trying to figure out why Tammy felt the need to destroy the world besides the fact that she’s a teenager. I suppose evil doesn’t need an excuse, but I felt it needed more. Also, the constant reference to Tammy’s hotness (and her using sex to get anything) and Loretta’s ugliness (she was fat and therefore, undesirable) was over the top.
Thankfully, to balance out Tammy, there is a ghost called Cathy who I at first thought was there to be rescued but ended up being a strong character in the fight against evil. Also, “ugly” Loretta is a strong woman that takes no bullshit from zombies or any other creature even with her limited human body. While Duke and Earl can heal themselves, Loretta can not, so her bravery kicked ass.
I have a few A. Lee Martinez books I’ll review here; he’s a fun fantasy author to read.
Since it’s 2012, year of the end of the world or some kind of apocalypse anyway, check out one possible chain of events in the web series 2012. The web series follows a group of characters that are directly involved in the events of December 2012: long time buddies and fellow hired assassins on a job, a corrupt politician, a journalist couple and a genetic scientist.
The 2012 web series was created and written by Julio Ponce Palmieri (born in Guatemala) and produced and directed by Palmieri and Alex Freitas (of Portuguese heritage).
The complete first season of this Canadian production is available on YouTube. I recommend not reading the descriptions because they spoil the episodes. Here’s a teaser. Be safe in 2012!
Chile Con Zombie Hunters
Blind Dead (Muerte Ciega, 2009) is an independent horror film from Chile. It is a near-future zombie movie in which a virus spreads and transforms humans into violent and territorial fiends after a mining incident. The area is quarantined and after some time is subject to incursion and investigation by a team of paramilitaries and scientists. As you can expect, there will be blood. The team itself starts to fall apart as the violence and betrayal escalate.
The trailer shows a band of soldiers escorting scientists to ground zero and all hell breaking loose. Looks like an extremely violent film, almost the guerilla-war type. I do like the look of the film- the muted colors look fantastic, especially considering the movie’s low budget of $2,000.
Written and directed by Cristian Toledo and Lucio Rojas, the film gets its inspiration from such genre classics as 28 Days Later, Stalker, Apocalypse Now, Mad Max, and cowboy Westerns.
Muerte Ciega’s official Facebook fan page includes production images. Looks like they had a good time filming! No word yet on when this movie will be available. I will keep you posted.
There’s a trailer with English subtitles but it doesn’t have the same quality of the Spanish trailer below. There is also a 20 minute preview you can check out here.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
UPDATE 2/4/10: There is a new trailer with English subtitles, and it looks like their English title has changed to Blind Death. No release date yet, besides the “first semester of the year.”