GaryView: Blood Angels (aka Thrall)

Lissa: Out of a whole range of very dumb vampire films, this one has got to be one of the worst.

Gary: You remember Vampires Anonymous, don’t you?

Lissa: Vampires Anonymous had Michael Madsen in it. What does Blood Angels have?

Gary:  Lorenzo Lamas.

Lissa: (*looks*)

Gary: Okay, that’s a fair point… I don’t remember him being so awful in the 80s. He was in this show about surfers and cars I used to watch. Then he was in Falcon Crest. I watched that with Mum a bit, to keep her company.

Lissa: Didn’t he end up in some other soap opera?

Gary: I don’t know. I never watched them after Mum died.

Lissa: But you’re always saying you’ve got all that time to kill.

Gary: Yeah, but I don’t need to spend it watching soap operas. I’m a vampire, not a zombie. Besides, there are still lots of books I haven’t read.

Lissa: I wish I’d read one instead of watching this. I mean to say, scantily clad half-vampire women kept prisoner in what looks like a minimalist art exhibition space, until they collectively and literally chew through the ankles of one to escape from the manacles.

Gary: I suppose it made a kind of sense.

Lissa: Slightly more sense than their business plan of running raves, seducing guys then drinking their blood through their penises.

Gary: That was… that was really weird. And gross.

Lissa: And all that “Oh we don’t kill them, and they say they like it!”

Gary: Actually, Magdalene says that some guys at the club…

Lissa: Oh, please, Gary, do not finish that sentence! And there was that really horrible scene where the fanged worms burst out of one girl’s breasts.

Gary: I closed my eyes for some of that bit.

Lissa: I should have known it would end badly when it started with that cheesy voiceover.

Gary: Yeah. I think doom-laden voiceovers about demons and ancient evil shouldn’t sound like it got copied from Scooby Doo.

Lissa: I think I missed something at the end, too. Several somethings. I’m not sure what Lorenzo Lamas was playing at, with the whole ‘I let you escape and now I recapture you’ thing. What purpose did that serve, apart from filling up most of the hour of the plot?

Gary: I’m not sure if they explained what the ritual of Belial was meant to really be about either. Or maybe I stopped paying attention.

Lissa:  We don’t even need to discuss the relative accuracy of the vampire stuff in this one, do we?

Gary: Not when it can be summed up as ‘non-existant’.

Lissa: Can we read another one of those Wolf House books next then?

Gary: Yes please.

Get  Blood Angels from Amazon.com.

Review: Scary Kisses edited by Liz Grzyb

Cover of Scary Kisses
Cover of Scary Kisses, designed by Amanda Rainey

Another of my Swancon 2010 purchases, Scary Kisses was launched with cupcakes and readings by contributing authors. Not only was there a lot of promise in those snippets, the cover was gorgeous and it promptly went into my stash – and to the top of my very, very, very large to-read pile.

Liz Grzyb has compiled a fabulous collection of paranormal stories about love. Vampires, zombies, ghosts, elder gods, witches, dragons and unnamed evil all get a place to shine, or lurk.  Some of the stories worked better for me than others, as always happens in any anthology, but the whole ensemble is a fine dish of literate goodies!

Standouts for me were:

  • Felicity Dowker’s “Bread and Circuses”, a dark, disturbing, moving story of love after the zombie apocalypse
  • Ian Nichols’ “Fade Away” pleased me by delivering an ending I wasn’t expecting
  • I find I want to read more set in the world created by Angela Slatter and L.L. Hannett in “The February Dragon”
  • Kyla Ward’s “Cursebreaker: The Welsh Widow and the Wandering Wooer” demonstrated a refreshing and lively prose style, and is another one with potential for a whole universe of fascinating stories
  • My fondness for “Date with a Vampire” by Annette Backshall bloomed the instant the heroine refused to play her part, and the Perth setting was nice. Let’s see more paranormal fiction set in Australia, folks!
  • D.C. White’s “Pride and Tentacles” is just the right fluffy bit of fun to round off the collection and for some reason I find I’m not the least bit surprised by Cthulu’s choice of book.

There’s a lot of great work coming out of Australian small presses at the moment, and Western Australian seems to be leading the charge with its SF and fanasy publishers, like Twelfth Planet Press and Triconeroga Publications. The latter has published Scary Kisses and it’s worth checking both publishers out for their back catalogue and upcoming books. In the meantime, buy Scary Kisses and support Australian small press, not because it’s Australian, but because it’s great.

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