5 Horror Villains the Rock Needs to Fight

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made his WWE debut in 1996 and flopped as Rocky Maivia. After a stint on the IR with a knee injury, he embraced his personality as part of the Nation of Domination and kickstarting his floundering career. He went on to win 8 WWE Championships, 2 WCW Championships, 2 Intercontinental Championships, and 5 Tag Team Championships.

His acting career followed the same path. After The Scorpion King and a few WWE Studio flicks, he excised “The Rock” from his name and starred in duds like The Tooth Fairy. His acting career, much like his wrestling career, skyrocketed when he embraced who he was. Since, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has been one of the biggest box office draws in Hollywood. He’s currently starring in the number one movie worldwideHobbes and Shaw.

It doesn’t seem likely that The Rock is headed for the horror genre any time soon, but we’re dreamers here at Wicked Horror, and we’ve picked the top five horror villains we’d like to see climb into the squared circle to go one on one with The Rock.

See the list at Wicked Horror!

She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #2 (Comic Review)

She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #2 opens with Luna peeling paper off the wall to eat with Joan of Arc. Joan tells Luna that, “St. Michael is HAWT, but I’m super into the Duke of Alençon.” Luna bursts into flames, realizing that Joan was schizophrenic and she may be too before vomiting eyeballs and waking up. If that sounds exactly like your s***, it’s definitely mine, then you’re going to love this issue. The series is built on Luna’s imagination, which artist Martìn Morazzo brings beautifully to life with his art.

Writer Christopher Cantwell brings a lot to the table as well. His writing in She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot lets its characters carry the weight of the first arc, meaning that Luna isn’t the only one suffering after the bloodbath in She Could Fly #4. Her mother, a la Lady Macbeth (or Edgar Allen Poe depending on your preference) scrubs at a clean floor saying, ““OhmygodIamheartilysorryforhavingoffendedthee…” I can’t stress enough how much it matters. Violence leads to trauma, and this series shows exactly what that looks like. The lasting effects add heft to every panel.

Continue reading at Wicked Horror!

Boarding School is a Boring Mess [Review]

People who don’t like modern horror movies frequently point to the jump scares. I’ve defended them in other reviews (herehere, and here), because they’re not the problem. Jumpscares are like cheese. They can add quite a bit of flavor to a film. The problem, which people are rightly perceiving, comes when the cheese is put onto a hockey puck instead of a burger. In bad modern horror movies, jump scares are thrown in to spice up a boring screenplay. Instead of tightening the dialogue or shooting in interesting ways or cutting dead weight scenes, lazy filmmakers throw in nonsensical jump scares and call it a day. The moldy lettuce doesn’t taste any better with some Parmesan cheese grated over it, but the audience is jolted. Boaz Yakin tries to substitute jump scares for substance in the first twenty minutes of his film Boarding School, and trust me, those are minutes that you can’t get back.

Jacob (Luke Prael) is a young man who dresses up in the clothes of the dead-grandmother-he-never-met and dances while his parents away. His mother screams that she wants to kill him after the first jump scare before the movie descends into painfully boring minutiae (Here’s Jacob making a sandwich! Here he is reading comic books! Now he’s watching Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath, a better movie than this one!) before Jacob finally meets with Dr. Sherman (Will Patton) and his parents agree to send him to boarding school.

Read more at Wicked Horror!

Ken Liu’s “The Paper Menagerie” (Book Review) via Spectators and Spooks

In the wake of the US election of a man whose rise to power was heralded by white supremacist groups, racists, sexists, bigots, and homophobic politicians, whose hateful rhetoric drove a deeper, manipulative wedge between the disenfranchised and the bourgeois of America , a coworker said something that surprised me: “What we need now is art.”

I’d imagined the sentence ending with “revolution” or “meaningful protest” or “Canadian citizenship.” Even as a writer, someone who ostensibly believes that art can make a difference, I wasn’t ready to hear that what we needed was “art.” I also wasn’t ready to go create works that would nudge the giant pendulum swinging from tense acceptance to open hatred to swing a little further into acceptance. I believe writing can do that. If I didn’t, why bother? That hope is why I spend my free time reading submissions for Spectators and Spooks, trying to find that perfect piece, a ghost story that illuminates a world view different from my own white-passing, straight cis-male perspective that can move me to understand and love a character from a different background and space and time that has been overlooked and dishonored.

While Ken Liu doesn’t do much by the way of ghosts – not in the supernatural sense at any rate – in Paper Menagerie he works to move that pendulum of otherness, that weight that I am yet unsure of how to move for myself or others.

Continue reading at Spectator and Spooks

The Culture-ist Articles

Emerson set up a partnership with The Culture-ist, an online travel/social justice/wellness magazine and the people at the Culture-ist are kind (crazy) enough to let some students take over their magazine for three months.

I wrote this article and edited this one.

So far so good. Just got to make sure to get all of the pencils out the ceiling before they come back.