Showing posts with label vampires. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vampires. Show all posts

Thursday, July 28, 2022

[Review] - 'The Secret of Barnabas Collins' by Marilyn Ross

The cursed vampire Barnabas Collins finally makes his debut in the Dark Shadows lit-verse - that I couldn't read because it's not available on Kindle. All well! I had to skip over the self-titled sixth novel Barnabas Collins and jump right into The Secret of Barnabas Collins.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Review - Black Ambrosia by Elizabeth Engstrom


Today, I'm reviewing 1986's Black Ambrosia by Elizabeth Engstrom. More specifically, it's the Paperbacks from Hell edition by Valancourt Books that has a new introduction by author Grady Hendrix.

Tor Books originally published Black Ambrosia during the horror-craze of the 1980s. After appearing in Grady Hendrix's Paperback from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction in 2017, the nearly forgotten title has come back from the grave, thanks to the 2019 reprint.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Review - Bloodborn by Sydney Winward

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.
Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Adam Degore's personal need to find a cure for vampirism drives him to ensnare a vampire, but the creature he captures is Dracula's daughter. Worse yet, he's drawn to her—a monster he's vowed to kill.

Despite her father's wishes, Willow chooses to live among humans instead of the vampire conclave where she would be safe. She wants a life filled with more than shadows. Being captured by a human, not to mention falling in love with one, is not part of her plan.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Midnight Horror Review: Forever Knight: The Complete Series

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
Does anyone actually remember there being a "Crimetime After Primetime" lineup airing on CBS during the 1992-1993 season late-at-night after the local news?

I was an eleven-year-old in 1992 and I have no memory of any television shows airing that late. Then again, I had a curfew in 1992 and wasn't allowed to stay up late on school nights." Weekends were a completely other story as I would stay up past midnight to watched the edited versions of Tales of the Crypt on Fox.

Anyway, the first season of the cult Canadian vampire series Forever Knight aired on CBS during their "Crimetime After Primetime." After the entire lineup was cancelled to make way for Late Show with David Letterman, the second season moved to syndication and the third & final season aired on the USA Network.

Mill Creek Entertainment recently released Forever Night: The Complete Series DVD set (TV-14; 52 hrs 43 mins; $64.98) featuring all 70 episodes! There are no special features or bonus extras. 

Forever Knight is a reworking of the television movie Nick Knight starring Rick Springfield that aired on CBS in 1989. For the series, Geraint Wyn Davies took over the role of Nick Knight, a vampire who works at as a nighttime detective for the Toronto police. He was born in A.D. 1200. As adult, he was forced to fight in the Crusades to avoid facing a murder trial which he was being accused of killing his love, Gwyneth. He returned to Europe after the Crusades where became a drunk. Eventually, he meets the vampire Janette DuCharme (played by Deborah DuchĂȘne) and along with her master, Lucien LaCroix (played by Nigel Bennett), they seduce him into becoming an immortal. After many many years of killing innocent humans, Nick turns his back on being a vampire and goes on a quest to redeem himself.

As a cop, Nick Knight uses his supernatural abilities to protect the innocent and to capture the bad guys. The only human who knows of his "curse" is medical coroner Natalie Lambert (played by Catherine Disher). And of course his maker LaCroix knows all about Nick's past and will do anything to make sure he stays a vampire forever.

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? - Double Feature DVD Review

Mill Creek Ent., Not Rated; 2 hrs 56 mins; $14.98

Do you remember back in the day when network television would air their weekly low-budget made-for-TV movies?

Unfortunately, I do remember watching a few of these movies during my childhood! Yes, there were a few decent movies once in a great while, but for the most part these films were extremely cheesy with horrible plots and really bad acting.

Now, the only reason why I'm talking about these type of movies is because I had recently watched the 1996 made-for-television movie Mother, May I Sleep with Danger and the 2016 horror remake, which are both currently available on a DVD Double Feature from Mill Creek Entertainment.

The original Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? Tori Spelling as Laurel Lewisohn, a college student who begins a romantic relationship with Kevin Shane (played by Ivan Sergei). Through her eyes, Kevin is a charming college classmate, but in reality he's a psychopath with a deadly past. Kevin easily convinces everyone in Laurel's life that he is the perfect boyfriend for her, well, everyone except for her mother, Jessica (played by Lisa Banes), who believes Kevin is dangerous. Despite her mother's objections, Laurel continues her relationship with Kevin, well, until, he becomes a little bit obsessed with her. By the time she tries to break it off with him, it might be too little, too late for her.

The 2016 version of Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? is less of a remake and more or a reimagining with a horror twist. Produced by James Franco (who also has a small part in the film), the remake drops the "boyfriend is obsessed with my daughter" plot for a vampire-lesbian love story. This time around Tori Spelling plays Julie, the mother of a college student named Leah (played by Leila George). Similar to the original, the daughter falls in love, but this time it's with a vampire, Pearl (played by Emily Meade), and of course the mother believes Pearl is a bad influence on her. Unlike other vampires, Pearl only feeds on abusive males, and she is hellbent on protecting Leah from anyone that will hurt her, including her own Nightwalker clan.

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Review: The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Seventh Season DVD

Warner Bros., Not Rated; 926 minutes

Is there one television series that is your guiltiest pleasure, even though it's not very good?

For me, this would The Vampire Diaries.

Loosely based on the young adult books by L.J. Smith, The Vampire Diaries debuted on the CW in 2009 and quickly gained a small following. While it was somewhat a Twilight Saga ripoff during it's first few seasons, the series has finally grown into it's own show.

Due to the Kansas City Royals going to the playoffs and then the World Series last year (which they won), I got behind on the seventh season of the series; so far behind that I eventually decided to just wait for the DVD to release to get caught up on the season.

While I do like the series, I have always believed it has been held back from being really good due it's lackluster scripts and the bland performance by Nina Dobrev as the main character, Elena Gilbert. Most fans threw a fit when she left at the end of the sixth season, but it didn't bother me one bit.

The seventh season has a different format to it. The first half of the season picks up a few months after the sixth season finale, where the Heretics have taken over Mystic Falls. These episodes normally end with a flash forward set three years into the future. The second half of the season, which mostly deals with the huntress plot, is set three years later (in the flash forward timeline), though there are a few flashbacks.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

DVD Review: Teeth & Blood

Teeth & Blood
Director: Al Franklin & Pamela J. Richardson
Starring: Glen Plummer, Michelle Van Der Water, Sean Christopher
Studio: RLJ Entertainment
Release Date: March 10, 2014
Retail: $27.97
Running Time: 101 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


Now available to own on DVD and Digital Video from RLJ Entertainment is the horror flick Teeth & Blood. Directed by Al Franklin & Pamela J. Richardson, the film stars Glen Plummer (Saw II), Danielle Vega (Hulu's "East Los High"), King Kedar (Preacher's Kid) and Michelle Van Der Water (VH1's "Single Ladies").  There are no special features or extras on the DVD.

Teeth & Blood takes place on the "Chapel Blood" movie set, a film that is being directed by Vincent Augustine (played by Glenn Plummer). It seems that some of the film's profits will be donated to the city for a new synthetic blood bank, the current blood donation supply for the city is awfully low.

After the film's star Elizabeth Thornrich (played by Steffinnie Phrommany) is murdered on the set, the body disappears from the corner's van. This gets the attention of detectives Mike Hung (played by Sean Hutchinson) and Sasha Colfax (played by Michelle Van Der Water), who are assigned to the case. They plan on solving the case before the press find out about the murder.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Review - Dark Shadows: Year One

Dark Shadows: Year One
by Marc Andreyko, Guiu Vilanova, Patrick Berkenkotter
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Pub. Date: July 1, 2014
ISBN: 978-1606904954
Pages: 128
Buy Link: Amazon


Ever since the original dark soap opera, Dark Shadows, ended in 1971, the franchise has continued to live in other medias, such as feature films, remakes, novelizations, merchandises, DVD sets, etc. The Collins family has even found their way into the comic book world over the years.

Last month, Dynamite Entertainment released the Dark Shadows: Year One graphic novel (featuring issues 1-6), which tells the origin of the vampire Barnabas Collins, who caused his family to suffer for generations. It only took one night of passion with the witch Angelique to ruin his life forever.

If you have ever seen the original series or the Tim Burton movie, then you know that Barnabas was engaged to Josette, but the maid Angelique was in love with him, leading Barnabas to have a fling with her, unknowingly at the time that she was in a fact a witch. Barnabas rejected Angelique, so she cursed him to become a vampire.

Monday, May 28, 2012

DVD Review - Dark Shadows: The Revival

After a heavy advertising campaign, NBC aired the reboot of the 1966-1971 Dark Shadows soap opera in January 1991, but only this time it was aired in primetime instead of daytime. The series followed the basic plot of the original with Victoria Winters (played by Joanna Going) traveling on a train to Collinsport where she has taken a job as governess at the Collinwoods. She’s really there to take care of David (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who claims to see ghosts at the “old house.” While this is happening, Willie Loomis breaks into a crypt looking for jewels, but instead he releases the vampire cursed Barnabas Collins (played by Ben Cross).

    Barnabas makes Willie is servant. Then he quickly introduces himself to the Collins as a cousin from England, in which the family gives him the “old house.” When Barnabas sees Victoria, he wonders if she is the reincarnation of his lost love Josette Du Pres. This here is a major change as in the original Maggie Evans was the look-alike for Josette. Barnabas peruses a relationship with Victoria.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

DVD Review - Dark Shadows: Fan Favorites

After reading two Dark Shadow books and watching the previous greatest episodes collection, I ordered the Fan Favorites DVD, which is much cheaper than buying the series’ DVD volumes or the upcoming complete series. I haven't seen the remake yet and sadly it's a box office flop compared to other Tim Burton/Johnny Depp films.

For the readers that don't know what Dark Shadows is about, please let me brush you up on it. Dark Shadow aired on ABC-TV from 1966-1971 in the afternoons with a blend of Gothic romance and supernatural horror plots, which was somewhat groundbreaking for a soap opera of it's time. The ghostly plot was added about six months into the series. Afraid of cancellation, the creator Dan Curtis brought in Jonathan Frid to play the vampire cursed Barnabas Collins to increase ratings. For several years the series was a success, taking in over twenty million viewers at its peak.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review - Angel & Faith Volume 1: Live Through This

PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PUB DATE: July 3, 2012
ISBN: 9781595828873 
AUTHOR: Christos Gage
CONTRIBUTORS: Dan Jackson, Phil Noto, Rebekah Isaac, and Steve Morris

The Angel & Faith comic book series takes place during the Season 9 Buffyverse, where the renegade slayer Faith is helping Angel recuperate his way back to being good after being possessed by the “Twilight” during the season 8 comic book storyline, in which all magic was destroyed. Faith inherited Rupert Giles’s estate along with the watcher’s files after he was murdered by Angel. In the four part issue Live Through This, after defeating a demon that Giles once fought, Angel starts having visions of Giles and Jenny Calendar, whom both died by his hands. Feeling regret, Angel looks for away to bring Giles back and to make amends to the others that he hurt when he was “Twilight.”

    This series is set in London, where Angel is trying to clean up the streets by fighting the local demons with the help of Faith when she isn’t busy partying. Angel searches for Mohra blood in hope that he can reanimate Giles’s body. They are introduced to two new villains Nash and Pearl who are taking advantage of the no magic Earth.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

DVD Review - Dark Shadows: The Best of Barnabas

I stumbled upon Dark Shadows: The Best of Barnabas part of The Greatest Episodes Collection at my local Wal-Mart for under ten dollars. Dark Shadows aired from 1966 to 1971 normally in the late afternoons. At the time of it’s peek Dark Shadows had around twenty million viewers, which is an incredible number compared to the low ratings of today’s soap operas (Sadly, there are only four on the air.). And it was known for having errors, such as actors forgetting their lines; stagehands walking in the background; microphones where in the frame shot; etc, because of the tight filming schedule demanded by ABC.

There have been dozens of Dark Shadows sets released over the years. The complete series is coming out this summer but at a whopping $599.98 retail price tag. The show has become more popular due to Tim Burton’s remake starring Johnny Depp being released on Friday, resulting in MPI Home Video releasing The Best of Barnabas to DVD.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Movie Review - House of Dark Shadows

     After the success of the ABC’s daytime soap Dark Shadows, the creator Dan Curtis directed a darker version from the script written by Sam Hall and Gordon Russell and produced by MGM back in 1970. The script was based on the popular Barnabas storyline and starred the original cast such as Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Kathryn Leigh Scott, David Henesy, and Roger Davis. The movie was shot in six weeks with a budget of $750,000, which is now considered a low-budget.

    The movie uses an altered version of the Barnabas plot. The recently fired handyman Willie Loomis visit’s the Collins’ family Old House in an attempt to steal rare jewels, but instead he unleashes the vampire cursed Barnabas from his 150-year confinement. Using his vampire powers, Barnabas makes Willie his slave. Barnabas wastes no time and introduces his self to the Collins family as a cousin to England.

    Barnabas meets the young governess, Maggie Evans, who looks exactly like his lost-love Josette. While during this time, Barnabas turns Carolyn, whom is later staked by Professor T. Eliot Stokes.

    The family doctor, Julia Hoffman, examines the blood of the victims and, for some unknown reason, knows that vampirism is behind the deaths. She soon realizes that Barnabas is a vampire and she offers to cure him. Barnabas accepts the offer. For a short time he is cured and begins to romance Maggie Evans.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review - Night of the Vampires by Heather Graham

Night of the Vampires (Hqn)

Night of the Vampires
BY: Heather Graham
ISBN: 978-0-373-77486-9
Pages: 346
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Set during the Civil War, dead soldiers are coming back to life, but not as humans. They are now vampires. Because of the chaos of the war, the vampires are using this to their advantage. They are feeding upon the innocent citizens of the United States.

There is a secret group of soldiers lead by Cole Granger that fights the creatures of the night. Along with him is Cody Fox, a half-vampire, soldier. During a bloody battle, they come across a young woman, Megan Fox. She claims to be Cody’s half-sister. They try to work together to stop the undead from feeding.

I didn’t realize that Night of the Vampires was set during the Civil War. By the cover I would say it was during modern times. The main female character is named Megan Fox. I laughed out loud when I read this, thinking of the actress. I have a few paperbacks somewhere of Heather Graham that I haven’t gotten around to reading. I like the idea of vampires during the Civil War, but there times that I thought the author was telling instead of showing. At times the dialogue is a bit cheesy and unrealistic for the time-period. But for some odd reason, I still liked the book. I think the author meant for this to be a realistic novel, but I can easily see this being turned into a horror-comedy feature film. If you like reading about vampires, then I recommend you checking this out.

*I would like to thank Netgalley and Harlequin for sending me a copy to review.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book Review - Jane Goes Batty

Jane Goes Batty
BY: Michael Thomas Ford
PUBLISHED BY: Ballantine Books Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-345-51366-3
Pages: 295
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this sequel to Jane Bites Back, the vampire Jane Austen continues to live her life under the name Jane Fairfax. She is running a book store and her new novel Constance is a bestseller. The book is being made into a movie.

Jane’s life sounds great, but she does have her problems. Her boyfriend’s, Walter, mother is in town and thinks Jane is Jewish. Her new editor is a handful, and a Hollywood camera crew follow her around to film extras the upcoming Constance DVD. And there is a little situation with a bloodsucking Bronte sister.

I have never read the first book, but found it easy to jump into Jane Goes Batty. If you are a vampire fan, you will enjoy reading about the undead Jane Austen. The novel is fast paced and fun to read.

*I would like to thank the author/publisher for sending me a copy to review.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review - The Fall

The Fall
BY: Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
PUBLISHED BY: Harper Collins
ISBN: 978-0-06-155822-1
Pages: 308
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

I have never read the first book, The Strain, but I easily picked up the previous plot by reading the first few chapters. The vampire plaque is spreading and consuming the world. The Master’s grand plan is to start a war between the Old and New Vampires. Hidden, is a book detailing the vampire’s history and their darkest secrets. This book has the key to killing the virus.

A brilliant professor Abraham Setrakian, Vasiliy Fest, Eph and other survivors plan on stopping the vampires before the infest the world.

The Fall is dark and chilling. It takes the vampire legend and brings it into the real world. The plot is easily believable; a vampire virus is spreading all over the world. Abraham Setrakian reminds me of Van Helsing. I can see this book series becoming a movie.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review - Jane Slayre by Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin

“Jane Slayre” is an update on the classic novel “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. Jane is an orphan and is living with her relatives, the Reeds - who happen to be bloodsucking vampires. One night, her uncle comes to her as a ghost. He tells her that she is a slayer and there are others like her.

Jane leaves the Reeds’ house and takes a job as a governess of a country estate. She falls in love with her new master, Mr. Rochester - who is keeping a dark secret of his own hidden in the attic.

Jane befriends another slayer, Mr. St. John - who has feelings for her. Before the end of the book, she must confront the Reeds again.

Today, it seems like all the classic novels are getting a zombie makeover. This is this first I have read in this new trend. Werewolves, vampires and zombies occupy this new twist on the classic “Jane Eyre.” The author does a decent job of staying true to the original story, but at the same time adding some fresh to it. Yes, you get to read about Jane fighting the creatures-of-the-night. If you’re a die-hard fan of “Jane Eyre,” you may not care for this version. Since vampires are not popular with today’s teenagers, I hope “Jane Slayre” will inspire them to read Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.”

Note: I would like to thank Gallery Books for sending me this complimentary copy to review.