Tag Archives: Review

Some Kind Words About Hometown and The Truth of Rock and Roll

Hometown-title Truth-of-Rock-and-Roll-for-Dreams

… from Mark Cole, Professor Emeritus, SUNY Oswego:

Dear Matt, Thanks again for sending me The Truth of Rock and Roll and Hometown. Hometown was certainly epic in nature – fascinating how you developed a portrait of an entire community through the personal lives of the students. The sad and futile results of the industrial revolution blended with the world of the supernatural in scary and disturbing ways. And it was very scary at many moments. The sense of being trapped on multiple levels – emotional, physical, social and spiritual – came through with a really varied cast of characters. The Truth of Rock and Roll was more like an intimate portrait where Hometown was a vast, complex panoramic painting. Rock and Roll opened up to the epic by the end, but the exploration of the teen narrator’s dilemma through Johnny’s story was intriguing. A chance meeting turns into a life defining moment. The surreal or supernatural mixed with the real and the natural narrative neatly.
[The Truth of Rock and Roll] taps into the age old conflict between the instinctual and the rational; the journey from youth to adulthood; the drives/desires of the unconscious and the expectations/responsibilities of maturity; rebellion and conformity. Change is part of human nature, and I feel Rock and Roll poses, among many questions, the question “How can I follow the impulses that will change me so I find the truth within myself?”
Full disclosure: Professor Cole originally contacted me because my sister is one of his former students, and he saw the announcement for one of my book releases on Facebook, and he was interested in seeing if either story was suitable for conversion into a play.
(I’ll let you know if anything comes of that; it isn’t really under his control.)
In the meantime, if you’re interested in seeing what he’s talking about, check out Hometown here, and The Truth of Rock and Roll here.  Both are available in Kindle and print, and as always, are 100% free on Kindle Unlimited.  And if you like those, I have a whole library of Kindle goodness to explore.  Enjoy.
And thank you, Professor Cole.

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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Hometown, Horror, Links, My Life, The Truth of Rock and Roll

Hometown Got A Review!


Encouragingly positive.  All the moreso because Ms. Monica Jenkins doesn’t seem to be a writer or a critic or anyone else involved in the craft of writing.  Just someone looking for an entertaining read.  The kind of person that we have to reach if we want to make a go of it with this job.

Check out Monica Jenkins’s review of Hometown here.

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Filed under Fiction, Hometown, Horror, Links

Killing Time Got Another Review!


And it’s even more positive than the last one!

Check it out!  And while you’re at it, check out the reviewer.

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Filed under Fiction, Horror, Links, Reviews

Newsies: Thoughts On Sex Engendered By A PG-Rated Musical


So my parents came to visit this weekend, and as part of their visit, we stopped by TKTS and got some half-price tickets to Newsies.

For those who don’t follow Broadway, Newsies is a stage adaptation of the 1992 Disney film of the same name, both of which are based on the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899.  It’s a great show, and I’d like to make it the subject of this Friday’s Horizon Review (sorry, Tremors is going to have to wait another week), but first I’d like to get something out of the way that I think is very important, but that I don’t think belongs in the review proper.  Two somethings actually.  And as the title indicates, both are about sex:

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Filed under Feminism, Politics, Reviews

Horizon Review: The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Abominable-Dr-Phibes Movie Poster

It’s been a few years now since Torture Porn as a genre more or less faded from the scene.  In the end, it only really amounted to the Saw Series, the Hostel series, and a few copycats, not unlike the torrent of imitation J-Horror that flooded the States for a few years after the release of The Ring.

What always struck me as a bit funny about the whole thing was all the fuss.  How many articles did we see about how torture porn was yet another sign of the decay of Western Civilization, the final nadir of horror as it descended into pointless depravity?

The underlying assumption to those articles, of course, was that torture porn is something new.  It’s not.  It’s actually very, very old.  Another name for the genre is Grand Guignol, but of course, it’s much older even than the 19th-century theatre that gave it that name.  Of course, for much of history, people would make entertainment out of actual torture and executions.

Neither is the idea of evildoers being punished in ironic or “appropriate” ways a new one.  The peak of the form is probably Dante’s Inferno (which is masturbatory torture porn, if you consider how many of Dante’s personal enemies are depicted in Hell), but the idea goes back at least to ancient Greece, where Tantalus’s food-based crimes are punished with endless hunger and thirst, and the trickster Sisyphus is the eternal victim of a prank by Zeus.

More recently, you have 1995’s Seven (indeed, I firmly believe that if there had never been a Seven, there would never have been a Saw), and just a little further back, in a time period that the torture porn doomsayers would probably consider to be a more genteel era of horror, you have The Abominable Dr. Phibes.
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Horizon Review: Eddie and The Cruisers

Eddie and the Cruisers Poster

You know the song, even if you’ve never seen the movie:

Eddie and The Cruisers is one of those movies like Less Than Zero, Streets of Fire, or even, to a degree, Footloose, where the soundtrack outshone the movie.  “On the Dark Side” still gets airplay today, thirty-one years after the movie came out.  The movie itself is a cult hit at best.

This came as a bit of a surprise for the filmmakers.  Of course, no one makes a movie if they don’t think they’ll make money on it (unless you’re Uwe Boll taking advantage of a tax loophole), but as was the case with Streets of Fire after it, the movie tested well, they had a huge audience waiting…until they released it, and they suddenly didn’t.  The only things that saved Eddie and The Cruisers from total obscurity were its soundtrack (specifically, “On The Dark Side”) and cable TV.

This is a shame, because Eddie and The Cruisers is a good movie.
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Filed under Inspirations, Reviews

Horizon Review: My Bloody Valentine

My bloody valentine poster

I was originally going to post a review of Eddie and The Cruisers this week, but at the last minute, I decided that I should do a review of My Bloody Valentine instead, in honor of the holiday.  I’d seen the remake in the theatres back in 2009 and enjoyed it very much, and I thought I should see the original.

Both decisions were terrible mistakes, and I apologize for them.  Eddie and The Cruisers will be up next week.
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