Guest Review: Red Dawn by Steve Paul

Here is another classic Steve Paul gem from the old site that I finally got around to migrating over.  Sadly, Steve Paul isn't with us anymore, but it makes me feel better to read his goofy reviews.  Anyway, enough of my mushiness.  Here's the review:

Remember when PG-13 movies first came out? I do. I was 12. I remember not knowing how the world really operated but still really wanting to see the first PG-13 movie ever, a little diddy named "Red Dawn." I was scared that they would reject me at the door for not being old enough, though. That was the first time I learned the benefits of showing a little flesh...um...nevermind. So the movie involves the Russians (remember them?) invading the good ol' U.S. of A. during home room period at a local high school. With one liberating shot, the fucking teacher has no head - a visual that sends the entire school running for their lives. So now I'm sure you are wondering, "Where the hell is there to run to when the Red Army is all around you in full force and you are no longer able to get the high school education you so desperately need?" I'm glad you brought up that point, because, at the time I first saw the movie, I had no clue either, but thanks to the genetically superior boys on the football team (including Patrick Swayze --- remember HIM?!!) I now know that, when threatened by the conquest of foreign invaders, you should always load up on guns and go camping. "Red Dawn" is mainly a coming-of-age story wrapped up in a good old fashion buddy picture, except it's got lots of camouflage, AK-47's and rocket launchers. A lot of things have changes since I was 12. I no longer fear conquest by the commies - like Patrick Swayze's career, they too have faded into the darkness. Every once in awhile, though, I still like to go into the forest, climb on top of the biggest hill I can find and scream at the top of my voice, WOLVERIIIIIIIIIIIINES!!!" I also like to watch "Dirty Dancing."

Red Dawn (Collector's Edition) Red Dawn (Collector's Edition)
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DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Brand: MGM
Manufacturer: MGM (Video & DVD)
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Patrick Swayze
  • C. Thomas Howell
  • Lea Thompson
  • Charlie Sheen
  • Darren Dalton

New Book Review: Dog Blood by David Moody

Woah ho ho!  Drunken Goon must be moving up in the world.  Either that or someone didn't really read my blog too closely and maybe decided I was a "real" reviewer.

See, I got sent an Advance Readers' Edition of Dog Blood by David Moody in the hopes that I'd review it.  For some reason, though, this made me instantly not want to read the book.  Not because I didn't think it was going to be good, but because it now became "something I needed to do".  I think that's just something weird in my brain though.  As soon as I schedule anything I almost instantly don't want to do it.  Hell, it could be a trip to the naked lady brewery but as soon as I put it on my calendar, I start to dread it.

But, I found myself traveling a lot in May and June so I had lots of time for reading.  I sucked it up and dove into Dog Blood.  Turns out it is a sequel to a book called Hater.  It was easy enough to pick up the story in the middle, though.  I realized a few things as soon as I started reading this book:

  1. Despite the fact that I've read buckets of sci-fi in my day (Probably at least 90% of all Hugo award winners for starts) I don't think I've ever read a zombie book before
  2. This book is not your run-of-the-mill zombie book

Realization #2 didn't happen right away, though.  It seems like the first chapter is set up in a way to make you think this is going to read like a screen play for your standard zombie movie.  Then the book shifts a little bit and you realize that the chapters alternate between the normal human's perspective and the "zombies" perspective.

Yup, that's right, the zombies are smart.  In fact, it isn't really fair to call them zombies.  The book calls them haters and the premise is that "something" happened to randomly change normal people into haters.  Haters are pretty much like you and me, except they can't resist the urge to kill non-haters.  They can also sense the difference between haters and non-haters (something that normal human's can't do).  I guess, imagine smart rage zombies and you are halfway there.

I really want to read the first book, Hater, to get more background on the actual change process and what happened during those first few weeks/months.  Many of the haters suddenly found themselves attacking/killing their own families.  Children killing parents, etc.

Anyway, back to Dog Blood.  It was a lot of fun to read and it definitely kept my interest.  I think I stayed up late two nights and polished her off.  My one bitch is that I didn't really dig the ending.  It seems like Moody is setting the stage for a series of these books and I don't know if that's such a great idea.  It was sort of like Back to the Future 2 when it ends and you know that there has to be a sequel.  This had the same feel.  Almost like the pilot episode of the TV series.  Regardless, I'm still going to go back and read Hater and I'll probably read whatever the next installment is.  We'll have to see how far I take it after that.

P.S. I was just peaking at the back cover of Dog Blood and there is some high praise from Guillermo Del Toro for Hater.  So, maybe we can expect a movie soon?

Dog Blood: A Novel (Hater series) Dog Blood: A Novel (Hater series)
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Hater: A Novel (Hater series) Hater: A Novel (Hater series)
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