Showing posts from August, 2021

Finally, a New Vampire Movie You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Photo: I watch a lot of bad horror movies. Heck, my family thinks I watch nothing but bad horror movies. Recently, however, I saw something that made me think, “Damn, that was a good one. Good enough to crack my top 10.” I’m talking about Netflix’s Blood Red Sky , a German vampire movie that takes place on a plane in mid-flight. The premise: a German woman and her young son embark on a flight to the United States. The doctors there think they have a cure for her condition. Her flight is hijacked by a group of brutal terrorists. To protect her son, she has no choice but to reveal her secret. The movie is slick. The protagonist is relatable and very sympathetic. You care right up to the end. The pace is fast, the action sequences are exciting. The vampires themselves are scary and feral. The claustrophobic setting makes them even more terrifying. As you can probably tell, I like my vampires to be frightening. None of that Twilight nonsense (although I have to confess tha

‘The Girl with Ghost Eyes’ Gives a New Twist to Chinese Myth and Fantasy

In The Girl with Ghost Eyes , author M.H. Boroson has created a fantastical world filled with beasts and beings from Chinese myth and legend. What’s more amazing is that the author made me view my culture with new eyes. The book is set at the end of the 19 th century in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The protagonist Xian Li-lin is a young Chinese immigrant who is a Daoist (or Taoist) ghost hunter and martial arts expert. Her “yin” eyes allow her to see the spirit realm. It’s tough enough that Li-lin has to navigate a strict culture in which women have little power and almost no voice. As a widow, she has no husband to give her status. She is in a country that doesn’t understand her customs. Her problems are compounded when her father, a powerful Daoist exorcist, is seriously injured by an evil sorcerer. She is left alone to face an evil that threatens Chinatown with widespread death and destruction. The book is beautifully written, with evocative language that transports the reader to a

Be Warned: The Chinese Hungry Ghost Month Starts August 8

Folklore is a rich source of stories, especially for the horror and urban fantasy genres. I thought I would share a Chinese festival—the Hungry Ghost Month—that starts August 8. During this period—which is the seventh month of the lunar calendar—Chinese people of the Taoist or Buddhist faiths believe the gates of hell open and hungry ghosts wander the earth in search of food and entertainment. People of Chinese descent burn ghost money and ghost goods, such as paper-mache cars, cell phones, houses and jewelry, to ensure their ancestors are well taken care of in their afterlife. When I lived in Singapore, the air would be thick with smoke from the burning of incense and the joss paper products. There would be burnt patches outside people’s homes and in fields and on cement walkways. Offerings of food and fruit would pop up at makeshift altars all over the island. Photos: The Hungry Ghost Festival also is a time for live (and loud) musical performances so as to placate the

Interview With Charlie K. Stone

Please check out my recent interview with Charlie K. Stone : I discuss how I got into writing, where I get my ideas from, and why I decided to become an indie author.