Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Top 13 Sexiest Vampires



Okay so it's been awhile since I did an actual post here since I have been focusing on my music blog more but since my favorite holiday has rolled around I thought it would be fun to do a Top Ten of sorts. As I have made it abundantly clear I love horror films and even though they aren't always used in that genre my favorite movie monster is of course the vampire. I can not actually pinpoint the exact moment I became a vampire fan girl but it is clear that not all vampires are meant to be attractive but it certainly doesn't hurt when they are! For this list I am picking from my own attraction to both the actor portraying the vampire and the traits of the character that have them appearing here. If you have ever read any of my past posts then I may be rehashing a few vamps I have already talked about. My sources come from books, films and TV and will have faces attached to maybe a few characters you recognize and some you don't. And please this is a list based on my own personal opinion so don't judge too harshly what I find sexy. So let's proceed from 13 to 1 in my own ranking of the sexiest vampires.

#13.  Stefan Valescu Vladislas from the film Subspecies (1991) portrayed by Michael Watson



Okay so yes I start my list with a pretty boy vampire but that's why we are here right? Actually Stefan is actually what you would call a dhampyr or a half vampire as his mother was a human and his father a vampire king so I guess that makes him a vampire prince which is extra hot in my opinion! His life is of course that of a vampire who hates what he is but don't forget he wasn't turned and has had to live with this his entire life. He is the non-evil variety vampire and can walk in the sunlight but too much exposure will kill him and he does have to feed on blood. Like his father, he falls in love with a mortal woman named Michelle and tries to help her when his older, half brother the evil and hideous Radu, turns her friends Lillian and Mara into his subservient fledglings. The reason he is so low on this list is that he only appears in the first of this four part movie franchise and suffers a sudden death in the sequel (oops spoiler but it doesn't hamper the other films' storylines.) My favorite part of why I find him sexy (incoming spoiler) is because he must turn his human love interest into a vampire after Radu bites Michelle and she begs him to make her more like him and not the evil monster of his brother.



#12. Caleb Colton from Near Dark (1987) portrayed by Adrian Pasdar



Now I have already talked about Near Dark before in the past but I still retain the fact that Caleb is quite attractive! He's a good old Southern boy with charm, intense, dark looks and a kind of kitten like weakness when it comes to him having to be fed blood from the wrist of Mae, the vampire who made him. You see Caleb is turned into a vampire and is of the variety that is still just too human and filled with scruples to kill innocent people unlike the other nomadic vampires he becomes acquainted with who are very violent. His attraction to Mae is very clear but if you go after his family he will not hesitate to kick your ass! I put him very low on this list for reasons I won't spoil or explain as I still believe Near Dark must be viewed to soak in its awesomeness completely. The one part I do love is the way Mae turns Caleb and his reaction to it is the real turn on!



#11. Dimitri Denatos from Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire (2000) portrayed by Charles Shaughnessy



Yes a Disney Channel Original Movie has made it to this list but for good reason because Charles Shaughnessy is gorgeous! As you know I have a thing for older men and accents so when I saw this on TV I was like "oh my Maxwell Sheffield is a vampire...I like it!" Now unlike his role on The Nanny, Charles is not a very nice guy in this movie. Sure he still has the charm, the good looks and god the British accent to make him attractive but Dimitri has the wolf in sheep's clothing act down with a short temper when his plans don't go smoothly and that veneer slips to not a complete monster but you still loathe him. He crosses the line going after kids who are only trying to save their mom from the situation they inadvertently put her in but when he finally pulls that vampire hypnosis on our leading lady I could only wish it was me instead.



#10. Count Dracula portrayed by Frank Langella from the 1979 version.



Now I know a lot of people have stated that Frank Langella makes one sexy Dracula and you know what they are right! With his dark looks and his very sophisticated voice, the count of literary fame never looked so good! Now this film portrayal was based on a stage adaptation that I was privileged to see performed while I was in high school (where we read the book in English class and then saw at the Actors Theater in Louisville, Kentucky) so to see an actor who played the same role on stage and then the big screen makes me feel Langella really understood the character. It's been said that making Dracula appear more attractive hides the true monster that lurks beneath but some have also said that making him more romanticized takes away the true horror and suspense of the original novel. This 1979 version still has some horror and Gothic tones but being a product of the time it was made it had to have some sexuality and Langella brought it!



#9. David from The Lost Boys (1987) portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland



Yet another vampire film I have already discussed but where as you would think I would be more attracted to Michael played by Jason Patric you are wrong: I'm more of a David girl. There is no denying that both actors are attractive but I have always found Kiefer Sutherland to be more my cup of tea. With a very husky voice and a tendency to play very action oriented characters, I like seeing a younger Kiefer Sutherland honing his acting chops as David, a more mysterious character whom we know nothing about which of course makes him sexier. Not a very sympathetic vampire like some of the vampires on this list, more animal and dangerous thrown on a motorcycle appeals to the girls who have a tendency to gravitate more to the bad boys and the girls who usually go for the more clean-cut pretty boys...well they just can't help but be seduced by the dark side.



#8. Nicholas "Nick" Knight from Forever Knight (1992-1996) portrayed by Geraint Wyn Davies



For those unfamiliar, Forever Knight was a television show from Canada centered around vampire Nick who works as a homicide detective all the while trying to find a way to become human and of course with its supernatural overtone all of his cases are usually not normal ones. It is established that Nick is about 800 years old and his last name is actually a pun because well he was a knight during the Crusades in France and as most of my choices he is the more humanized type of vampire. He works in homicide as a sort of atonement for all the killing he did and he lives on cow blood and makes excuses with light sensitivity and food allergies to cover up his more blatant reasons why he can't be out in the daylight or you know eat food...obviously lying is his strong suit because no one questions this? So he is a vampire with a conscience who can kick ass and use to be a noble knight in shining armor...hot! Besides that Geraint Wyn Davies (you just have to say that whole name) is very easy on the eyes and that voice is quite compelling if I do say so myself (I think its a thing with stage actors but it may also be a trace of his Welsh origins) and to top it all off the portrayal of a man who at series end loses everything makes him so tragic.



#7. Louis de Pointe du Lac from Interview With The Vampire (1994) portrayed by Brad Pitt



Now you knew some of Anne Rice's vampires from her chronicles would reach this list and well of course I have already talked about the two film adaptations of her works. It seems the requisite for me liking vampires are the ones that seem to keep a little bit of the pathos they had when they were human and Louis is the epitome example for all the ones who came after him as I don't think any vampires before him were quite this compelling. Now when you throw of all that angst into the handsome package that was Brad Pitt in his heyday, give him these startling, otherworldly eyes and such a solemn tone to his voice you can see why I had to put him on this list. Now I give the film example of Louis this slot based on sexiness and his backstory but if you want to learn more about his character you should try reading Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles to fully appreciate him for more than just his looks...



#6. Julian Luna from Kindred: The Embraced (1996) portrayed by Mark Frankel



From the moment this series premiered on Fox, I watched every single one of the eight episodes in complete fascination and was so sad the show got cancelled. There was a seductive nature about the show that a thirteen year old me didn't fully understand but being older now I can see the sophistication that was present and it was the star of Mark Frankel that dazzled the most. The premise of the show was the prince of the city a vampire named Julian Luna keeping peace between the five vampire clans all the while maintaining the "masquerade" that keeps them hidden from the mortal world. It isn't easy when a police detective tries to expos.e what Julian really is, his only living and completely human relative is turned to cause a feud between clans and falling in love with a mortal woman who just happens to be a reporter. No matter what would transpire, Julian would keep his cool and only become a force to reckon with if left no alternative meanwhile being elegant and understanding. Mark Frankel had the dark looks and his British charisma was evident as he became the character critics and fans embraced. When Fox cancelled the show, Kindred was in talks of being picked up by Showtime but the plans never came to be as Frankel died in a motorcycle accident and the role of Julian was never intended to be recast such was the talent the actor possessed.



#5. Dracula as portrayed by Gerard Butler from the film Dracula 2000



Most people are not big fans of this flick but I found it to be an interesting take on the Dracula legend which provides a surprising backstory against the modern setting. Continuing the attempt to make Dracula a more attractive if still tragic yet monstrous type of vampire, Scottish actor Gerard Butler was cast and made for a perfect Dracula. Dark hair, gorgeous blue eyes when not in full vampire mode, a velvet voice just fit for seduction (even if he had to sort of hide his natural brogue) and you have a vampire that is completely ready to drive the ladies mad! This Dracula isn't afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to killing but he still has time to round up his trio of sexy brides and charm the pants right off them! Is it any wonder he went from playing the seductive prince of darkness to a very seductive phantom? You be the judge...



#4. Edward Cullen from the Twilight franchise portrayed by Robert Pattinson



Okay please do not throw (figuratively) rotten tomatoes at me and tie me up to be sacrificed for being blasphemous towards vampires with this choice! I admit to being a Twiheart and owning the films, books and plenty of other Twilight memorabilia but who said I had to love vampires in just horror films and not appreciate more romanticized notions of vampires. I will admit the sparkling aspect is a bit silly but the characterization of Edward Cullen as a very devoted vampire shamed to be a monster and refusing to turn the human woman he loves even though her blood is quite tempting to him until he's left with no choice but to let her die or change her. Of course, being unable to sleep and watching her while she sleeps is a bit creepy and at times he is quite possessive but what vampire isn't creepy seeing as they have to drink blood in the first place? It is also quite well known that Robert Pattinson abhors the Twilight franchise and the character for most of the same reasons other people do but there is no denying that he is quite attractive if in sometimes a scruffy kind of way. Being a Brit he has the accent even if he tries to hide it as the American Edward though it shines through since the character has an early 1900s mindset and speech pattern. I usually go for older men but the dark looks of this former model are so striking that even when you make him unearthly pale you can't help but be dazzled. So even if Twilight isn't a lot of people's bag you have to realize that there had to be something in his performance that made Robert Pattinson the poster vampire pretty boy that earned Edward Cullen a place on this list and made it into my top 5 to boot.



#3. Lestat de Lioncourt from Queen Of The Damned portrayed by Stuart Townsend



If you are a fan of Anne Rice can anyone of you deny that Lestat is sexy? Now sometimes he may live up to being the brat prince  and can be a real bastard but when you have created many of your own lovers out of a slight fear of being lonely then you can't help but feel sorry for him. Now it's not that I hated Tom Cruise's portrayal in Interview With The Vampire it's just my taste in men has very well been established as tall, dark and handsome with an accent so Stuart Townsend's version of Lestat was one that really dragged me into liking the character of Lestat and trying to not see him as a villain. Being the romantic that I am I kind of like how the film created a love triangle between Akasha, Lestat and Jesse (and this is also coming from someone who read the novel Queen of The Damned and loved it!) to bring out an almost human emotion of him being seduced by something even more dark and evil than himself and while maybe not finding love but a companion that brought those once hidden human tendencies to the surface.



#2. Jerry Dandridge from Fright Night (1985) portrayed by Chris Sarandon



First thing's first yes I saw the remake with Colin Farrell and no I did not like it and no I do not think Colin Farrell even as a vampire is attractive. Sorry if I seemed so harsh and blunt but now that I got that out of the way let's talk about how much I like Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandridge. Yes he has the dark looks so of course I find that attractive but he also has a suave charm and a sexual charisma that attracts women and almost a way of understanding people that makes him able to sway vulnerable people and gaining their trust to seal the deal just not outright taking it and going in for the kill. The original almost kind of gives Jerry a backstory because he goes after the hero's love interest because she almost resembles a past and maybe lost love of his so that makes him a much more hard enigma to figure out. Another reason I find Chris Sarandon's Jerry Dandridge sexy is well I do like older men and find that maturity a big turn on now that I myself am older and even now I still wouldn't mind having Chris Sarandon seducing me on the dance floor.



Well if we have gotten this far and you have not seen a certain name appear on this list then of course it's no big surprise who I think the number one sexiest vampire is so let's get right to it shall we?


#1. Angel also known as Angelus from the series Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) and its spinoff Angel (1999-2004) portrayed by David Boreanaz



From the moment I first watched the show I was hooked on it and still regard it as the best show to ever be on television and even though I had crushes before my first hard-core TV actor crush was on David Boreanaz as Angel, the vampire with a soul. Of course you didn't learn he was a vampire at first but it didn't take a lot to figure out that a handsome guy who shows up at night out of no where is probably a vampire. Angel was snarky and witty in a dead-pan sort of way but also had a puppy vulnerability with those dark eyes and human reactions that were very noble (offering a girl a jacket because she's cold, sleeping on the floor) and of course outdated to prove he's not of the early-late 90s way most boys acted. So of course the romantic in me found the tragedy of his ill-fated romance with the human Buffy even more romantic as it was clear he cared very much for her and when they entered the arc of Angelus emerging thanks to a curse that stripped him of his soul by achieving happiness sleeping with Buffy as any couple in love would normally do, my heart sank.



 When you care that much about a fictional couple you know the writers and actors have done something right  but in a weird way I also kind of felt an attraction to this darker side of the Angel character. He may have been sadistic (but I am slightly sadistic too even if only about 10%) but he was still handsome and seductive. Vampires are meant to be seductive and maybe even slightly human and I think Angel was a good combination of the two aspects so that even when Spike entered the picture you still had a foil to Angel as the tortured nice guy versus the bad boy rebel of Spike. I could go on about my love of Angel and fan girl about how much I am a huge Bangel supporter but maybe that will be another time and another day to discuss the show and even the Angel spin-off but the fact is simple: Angel is the sexiest vampire of the small screen and my number one pick for the hottest of all vampires.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams Stand Up Tribute




The very funny Robin Williams is now gone from this world and I am at a loss for words for how sad I am so I will let the above videos speak for themselves about his comic genius. I couldn't pick just one of his many roles in film or television with their mix of comedy and drama because right now I just want to laugh until I cry...not cry because the laughter he brought is now gone.

Rest In Peace Robin Williams...I wish I could have met you to let you know that your laughter may have helped save me and how I wish we could have helped save you *hug*

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Focusing On Fear Street - First Date


WELCOME TO FOCUSING ON FEAR STREET

Book #16 in the Fear Street series
Published: May of 1992
Cover Art by Bill Schmidt


As far as riveting covers go this is not one of them but yet again very nicely drawn with a guy about ready to strangle a poor unsuspecting girl on her first date. I think the girl is supposed to be blissfully happy but she looks kind of dead in those eyes. Now that I come to think about it why do the girl and guy look so familiar to me? Answer: not sure but I'll ponder it some more. When 2005 rolled around, this one of the dozen Fear Street books re-released with new covers and well we get this one:

 
Um yeah...just as riveting as the original...not! A girl putting on lip liner because it's her first date with a purple saturated cover is not going to have guys adding this one to their collection and it looks like a really bad teen cover. The only strong points I like are the fact that who ever illustrated it put a lot of good detail in the girl's lips and that little tagline: "It may be her last..." is a perfect one. As always I can find a pretty good German edition cover for the Fear Street books and this one is a good kind of dark cover:


Points go out to this one because it actually has an illustration of an actual book event and it is just so ominous! The only detail I don't like is that the boy and girl look really young to me and that just kind of creeps me out...

Taglines: "That's when he kills them." This one appears on the front just underneath the title so it kind of fits together because yes on the first date is when he kills them so you know exactly what you can expect to happen on the other hand the back one "Dying For A Date" is just a really bad pun like you aren't even trying now are you, tagline writer? I hope R.L. didn't have a hand in these if so he should really know better...

The First Line: "We can't see out and no one see in." she said, snuggling against his shoulder.

Oh sounds like we started on something really heavy which might be enough to get you hooked in! So a girl and a boy named Joe are parking but something is kind off about this guy who is very anxious and definitely not that interested in making out. He suggests they go for a walk but as they do he drops his wallet and the girl casually picks it up to see that his driver's license states his name to be Lonnie Mayes...uh oh! So Lonnie-Joe makes up some lame excuse, the girl seems to buy it but still asks too many questions and next we are told by our omnipotent narrator that he comes back from the cliff edge...alone. So apparently he has killed other girls before and his next stop just happens to be good old Shadyside: the apparent murder capital of the world which seems to be right up his alley.


Now I remember! It's been mentioned Scott Weinger (Steve from Full House and voice of Aladdin) kinda looks like the guy on the cover! Beware the nice ones indeed!

Our focus then turns to our main character, fifteen-year old Chelsea Richards who hasn't lived in town long. She seems to be an average girl with normal complaints about hating her life, doesn't have a dating life and only has one friend named Nina. Her mother suggests that maybe if she wore lipstick and lost some weight (wow really Moms?) she might actually get a date. It seems that ignoring Mom's advice is a good idea because suddenly there is a new boy at school named Will that Chelsea develops a crush on and then a guy named Tim Sparks comes into the diner owned by Chelsea's father where she works as a waitress.

If Chelsea's mom isn't careful she'll give her daughter a complex like the show Growing Pains did to Tracey Gold who I always thought was pretty and kind of looks like the girl on the cover...

He takes an interest in Chelsea and asks her out to a movie but before she can answer this kind of tough looking guy her dad interrupts their conversation and Sparks (as he tells everyone to call him) angrily bolts. Not long after Sparks leaves, some young thugs try to rob the restaurant and end up hitting Chelsea's dad over the head with a pipe so when he gets taken to the hospital poor Chelsea calls Nina to come stay with her and I feel her pain as a third wheel when Nina decides to bring her boyfriend Doug with her so they can make out (some friend you got yourself there, Chels!)

Don't ask me why but given her description I always imagined Nina looked kind of like early Christina Applegate and the way Kelly Bundy was before they changed the character into a dumb bimbo

So with her only friend being too self-absorbed in her own guy, Chelsea soon decides that the next time Sparks asks her out she'll accept but when he comes back all we get is an awkward silence scenario and when Sparks leaves he goes home and pulls a phone out of the wall because he didn't ask her out like he planned and we are also treated to a scene of the guy we know as Lonnie-Joe killing a poor kitten :( ! Lucking out with Sparks, Chelsea becomes over the moon happy when Will asks her to go out on a date and ends up taking her to the next town over and makes her promise not to tell anyone about their secret date. Secret dates, anger issues it seems that our first date serial killer is one of Chelsea's would be beaus but which one is it?

Now I could go into more detail but the book doesn't give us much of a twist and the big reveal of whether Sparks or Will is the homicidal killer is blown way early! When I first read it I have to admit I wasn't shocked at who the bad guy would be because they make the other one of the biggest red herrings I have ever seen! So if you have never read First Date, I won't spoil it for you and if you have well then you already know don't you? Sadly it's not the first or last time you have it so obviously spelled out for you just who the villain is in a Fear Street book...

Despite these annoying little niggles of detail, I enjoyed First Date because it does follow a real high school girl's thoughts. It may just be me but I can identify with Chelsea and even the description of her being short with curly brown hair and being a little chubby is kind of the way I was most of my school going years. I'm not sure how male readers may feel about this book but it has a decent plot worthy of a good horror flick or even a bad one depending on your taste that is ;)

Body Count: Candy, the girl in our semi-prologue and yet another poor little kitty :( The book is more of a thriller than a horror so if you were expecting gore sorry to burst your bubble *shrug*

Cameo Time!: Suki Thomas who happened to go out on a date with Justin Stiles from The Prom Queen is mentioned by Nina as talking with her boyfriend Doug at lunch. Suki seems to be the equivalent of the school slut and after reading this book, I think it serves Nina right for being such an awful friend to Chelsea. I've been there before girls who are way more worried about the boys they are dating than the friends they have in high school always have to learn the hard way.

THE SHADYSIDE HIGH TIME CAPSULE

When we first meet Sparks it is said that he is wearing a Metallic shirt to I guess emphasize how tough he is. In the early 90s is when Metallica was at its best (both my boyfriend and I can agree on that) so I'm guessing he's a big metal fan. You know what other metal band Sparks might like? Iron Maiden!




So in the book, it says that the movie Chelsea and Will go to see has both John Candy and both of the Quaid brothers, actors Dennis and Randy, in a sort of action-comedy thing. Hate to break it to you but there is no movie like that in existence R.L. just made it up! You know there were plenty of good real movies you could have sent them to, Mr. Stine if you wanted. Something action packed, roll on the floor hilarious or even romantic to see back in 1992 may not have been in one film but there were plenty of choices:





NEXT BLOG: Sometimes it's The Best Friend you've got to look out for...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Focusing On Fear Street - The Prom Queen


WELCOME TO FOCUSING ON FEAR STREET WITH THERESTHEGIRL

Book #15 in the Fear Street Series
Published: March 1992
Cover Art by Bill Schmidt


This was one of the first Fear Street books I ever read and owned...the cover definitely caught my attention. It's a shame that this doesn't happen in the book because this is an excellent horror cover: a prom queen looks in a mirror and sees a skull looking back at her because if you look at her reflection she still has skin on her arms. When I saw this, I thought it was going to be about you know a 1950s prom queen coming back to haunt teenagers kinda like Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 until I read the blurb on the back but it still intrigued me.



I couldn't find too many covers for international versions of The Prom Queen or reprints but as always I can count on the German publications to provide me with a nice cover illustration like this one:


Again, this scene doesn't really occur in the book but it is very nice with the dead prom queen and the ominous figure in the background. There is great detail in every fold of the curtains and the girl's gown and I love the chandelier and the shadows it casts. I sure wish I could draw people as well as these talented artists...amazing!

 Taglines: On the front we have "She was drop-dead beautiful..." which is very good since it also made me think the book was going to be about an undead prom queen along with the cover illustration. On the back we have "Dance Of Death..." its in all caps so it makes it jump at you but I find it a kind of so-so tagline not as good as the front one.

The First Line: "We couldn't stop talking about the killer." 

What a way to start a book! This is one of the Fear Street novels told from the prospective of our protagonist in this case Elizabeth McVay or as she is called Lizzy (the blurb on the back spells it as Lizzie). Apparently, a killer has been going around the towns about Shadyside murdering young women and its all the buzz in the girls' locker room among Lizzy and her two friends: blonde and tan Dawn Rodgers and redhead Rachel West, the poor girl among the trio. Besides the gruesome news the other main topic is of course prom where Lizzy is hoping her military brat boyfriend Kevin can come home to take her, Rachel is going with her high school sweetheart Gideon and Dawn has yet to choose from the pool of gorgeous guys who have asked her (Dawn is a very confident almost disgusting type of person.)



The whole school is called to an assembly to not only discuss the dangers about the recent murders but also to announce the nominees for Prom Queen (and apparently no Prom King candidates...weird school Shadyside High.) So of course Lizzy, Rachel and Dawn are nominated along with drama club queen Simone Perry and popular, delicate Elana Potter. So we have one redhead (Rachel), one light blonde (Elana), one dark blonde (Dawn), one dark brunette (Simone) and one light brunette (Lizzy) nominated for Prom Queen which works out well as well as being very diverse from the rich to middle class to even the poor but beautiful girl.

Now I know I would talk about this after the plot summary but since we get most of this story from Lizzy's point of view I thought it would be interesting to go ahead and describe her fellow friends and prom queen nominees because it's almost the same way I see them. As I said before, Dawn is one of those confident, competitive people that get on your nerves that you almost wonder why you are friends with them at all. Elana is the rich girl out of the bunch and she seems very nice even though she is completely spoiled by her parents and besides Lizzy she is one of the nicer girls.

Not that Rachel isn't nice but when the principal announces that the winning prom queen will also get a $3,000 scholarship Lizzy describes her getting that dollar sign look in her eyes and I know Rachel is poor (it's stated quite a lot in the book) but that just shows you how greedy she is. Simone is self-centered and extremely possessive of her boyfriend Justin Stiles and since he is kind of flirt and very handsome she gets crazy jealous easily. This is one reason why I say Elana and Lizzy are about the nicest characters because it seems Dawn and Rachel have gone out with Justin behind Simone's back. When it comes to that whether you can consider Simone their friend or not, you don't do that with boyfriends.

So after learning this (us the audience but not Simone) you know those girls must feel real guilty when Simone turns up missing a few days later with her bedroom ransacked and even blood found on the floor! The police believe it might be connected to the murder of the previous two girls posted on the news but when the man responsible is caught and in custody the night another one of the girls gets murdered...Lizzy begins to realize that its the Prom Queens being targeted! Is it because of the money? Is it another girl jealous of not being nominated? Who is responsible and can Lizzy figure it out in time?

Okay one reason I did not go into the plot so much is because you really have to read The Prom Queen to find out what happens! It's not just because of my scruples on not diverging the plot to anything so you can find out for yourself but because when I first read it I was not expecting its twist at all! This is probably why The Prom Queen is in my Top Ten favorite Fear Street books but there is always a passage that sticks in my head is another reason it is a favorite of mine: Tell me if this doesn't give you goose pimples and if not you can see why it gave them to a younger me when I first read it:

"One by one the prom queens slowly turned to face the audience and as each girl turned, screams rang out through the auditorium. Each face was revealed, each face greeted the screams with blank and staring eyes. The flesh on the girls' faces was decaying..."

The description of all five undead prom queen hopefuls goes on for an entire page in such detail that it has all stuck with me forever. Now hearing that you think back to the cover and realize "OMG this does happen in the book!" and (spoiler!) it is a dream but still for horror fans this is a great book if you are just starting out on this particular genre. At least I got my dead prom queen like I wanted...

Body Count: Since we get more of a body count than the previous books I have talked about I'm going to be a little vague this time since it also involves major characters. Let's just say I give this book 3 out of 5 prom queens so does that mean 2 or 3 bite the dust?

Cameo Time!: Dream cameo by Lisa Blume (The New Girl) getting ready to crown one of the zombie prom queens...she sure has to deal with dead girls a lot doesn't she?

THE SHADYSIDE HIGH TIME CAPSULE

 So in the book it is mentioned that the drama club is putting on a production of The Sound of Music for their spring play. Before Simone disappears, she is playing the lead of Maria Von Trapp who in real life now just recently passed away :( With Simone gone, the lead goes to Dawn who I think frankly doesn't deserve it for being a kind of bitchy, horrible person but oh well...



It is also mentioned that the girls go to see the new Christian Slater movie where Lizzy discovers Simone's boyfriend Justin with a girl just weeks after her disappearance (nice boyfriend huh?) Anyway the only Christian Slater film  released at this time was Kuffs and it came out in January where this book was released in March. So I guess Shadyside's movie theater is one of those that plays movies months after their release?



And since we are talking about prom why not have a little playlist for the festivities because in Shadyside no matter what weird or gruesome thing has happened life goes back to normal. So here is a little mix for you early 1990 prom-goers:






NEXT TIME: We go on a First Date with terror...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Focusing On Fear Street - The Stepsister


WELCOME TO FOCUSING ON FEAR STREET WITH THERESTHEGIRL

Book #9 in the Fear Street Series
Published: November 1990
Cover Art by Bill Schmidt

First of all I apologize for the quality of the cover art that I found being so bright and fuzzy, my copy of the book looks so much better. The girl with the chestnut hair is our main character, Emily Casey, looking in the diary of her titular stepsister, Jessie Wallner. Jessie is the pissed off blonde in the dressing mirror. This scene of Jessie catching Emily in the act of snooping on her does not happen but the cover gives us the feeling of suspense throughout the book. The cover is not one of my favorites but again it is nicely drawn. This was another of those 2005 reprints with updated covers:

It's a very simple cover but I like how you aren't really sure which girl it is on the cover - is it Emily or Jessie? The only problem I have is the girl obviously has a little piercing in her nose to I guess "modernize" her to the new millennium crowd. Trying too hard there, new cover artist? The only other thing I like about this cover is that the orange gives off the impression of fire and well yes a fire does indeed happen in this book so props for getting that right at least. There are not too many versions of The Stepsister cover art that I could find but of course I found the cover in German markets! It was actually reprinted there so there are two German covers but one is very spoiler filled if you have not read the book in English so here is the cover I like the best anyway:
Very dark, foreboding, creepy house, shadowy figure in the window - simple yet effective. This is how you do a good cover right - intrigued to read it but not so busy or too flashy.

Taglines: On the front we have "When she moved into Emily's room, the terror began..." it's okay and to the point but that wouldn't be enough to grab me without nice cover art. On the back "Just how dangerous is Jessie?" combine this with the blurb on the back and I would be intrigued. I like how on the German cover this is the main tagline (yes I can read a little German but I am not fluent in all printed words of the language) and this would be enough to make me want to read The Stepsister.

The First Line: "I hate my hair!"

Well with that I'm not sure whether I should continue because it seems like Emily is going to be one of those whiny girls who is pretty and looks gorgeous but thinks they look fat and ugly. Maybe Emily is just a high strung person in general or maybe she is just nervous to meet her new stepbrother and stepsister. Her older sister Nancy seems to be doing just fine reading a copy of Sassy magazine so I guess Emily is going to probably get on my nerves - a character you should be rooting for but end up hating. So Em and Nance's mom remarried a man named Hugh who has a daughter Emily's age named Jessie and a thirteen-year old son named Rich who loves to read Stephen King and is kind of shy (sounds like a male me) and of course Jessie is blonde and looks like an angel.

Jessie is moving into Emily's room to share it with her new stepsister and things of course start out bad. In private, Jessie shows her true bitchy colors first complaining about the smallness of the room, saying things about Emily's mom, taking Emily's bed, shoving her little terrier Tiger and then accidentally( or is it?) ripping the head off Emily's childhood teddy bear! If you thought you would hate Emily for her whiny personality Jessie has her beat! Maybe it's the stress of moving into a new home with a bunch of new people but that's no excuse for supreme bitch overload.

It doesn't seem to be nerves because Jessie just continues to be nasty wearing Emily's clothes without asking but then things seem to go a little too far almost...malicious. Emily's big school report ends up getting erased, someone puts peroxide in her shampoo, and then her dog is murdered with its corpse stuffed into Emily's book bag for her to find at school! It seems this game of sibling rivalry is turning deadly especially when Emily learns that Jessie may be responsible for the death of a girl at her old school causing her to visit a psychiatrist. Is Jessie crazy and doing all of these horrible things to Emily? Could she really be capable of murder?

I'd have to say that this is the shortest blog post about any of the Fear Street books I've read so far going in chronological order. I will tell you the plot has a good premise and the actual twist of an ending surprised me when I first read it but other than that it is mostly a lot of Emily whining and Jessie whining and even her brother Rich whining at different times. I don't think there is a character in The Stepsister that I actually like except for maybe Emily and Nancy's mom except for her judgement in men as her new husband Hugh is kind of a sexist pig and has a tendency to not think before he speaks. Also another reason this is so short is well because *sighs* there's a Stepsister 2 we'll get to eventually...

Body Count: Poor little Tiger :( I love cats and dogs and if you do to I have to warn you this isn't the last time a cherished pet dies in this universe on Fear Street. To make you feel better just focus on this cute little dog and tell yourself it's just fiction:



Cameo Time!: Emily literally bumps into Ricky Schorr from Halloween Party and Lisa Blume from The New Girl is mentioned to share a math class with Emily's best friend Kathy.

THE SHADYSIDE HIGH TIME CAPSULE
We learn that Emily's new stepbrother Rich loves to read Stephen King! The book he is mentioned to be reading is Pet Sematary, one of King's most terrifying books and a creepy movie too!

I'm guessing being such a fan of Mr. King Rich might be interested in going to see the movie adaptation of Misery which came out around this time:

I don't know about you but after everything that happens in this book I think the Wallner family should maybe go see a more light-hearted film. There's the blockbuster Home Alone or maybe the highly underrated Disney classic The Rescuers Down Under would be better?




NEXT TIME: The Prom Queen ... what more do I need to say?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Focusing On Fear Street - Halloween Party


WELCOME TO FOCUSING ON FEAR STREET WITH THERESTHEGIRL

Book #8 in the Fear Street Series
Published: September of 1990
Cover Art by Bill Schmidt

Well first off let me say that this scene does NOT happen in the book but would be so awesome if it did! Being chased by a pumpkin-skull-ghost light through the Fear Street cemetery is our main heroine Niki in front of the Cameron mansion where the titular party takes place. Another disappointing thing about this otherwise great cover is the fact that in the book Niki's cape of her costume is NOT white...it's black. Another fact about this book before we get started is that I did not read this book until the time it was reprinted in 2005 but it did have this original cover and not this one:

A jack-o-lantern headed scarecrow is just not scary to me and compared to the above one it is so boring. I grew up with the Bill Schmidt cover art on my Fear Street paperbacks but I have to say I also am digging some of the foreign covers a lot looking for pics to spice up my blog. Mostly the German ones speaking of which:

Now that's a jack-o-lantern to be creeped out by...especially with the tipped over wine glass (this is a high school party so underage drinking is kind of forbidden...I like it!) sitting on black material which to me looks like Niki lost her cape...but why? *dun dun dun!* My third favorite cover is this Portuguese cover art because I kinda like the Gothic feel of it:

The three people on the cover I assume are Niki and her boyfriend Terry in the foreground and party hostess Justine Cameron in the back with the blond highlighted dark hair (Justine is blonde in the book). This cover is very mysterious and I like the jack-o-lantern being held by the skeletal hand...the horror-lover in me approves!

Taglines: "There's going to be an uninvited guest at this Halloween party on Fear Street..." on the front cover is a little long winded and not exactly accurate to the story (little spoiler for you so sorry!). The little tagline on the back "Invitation To Terror" is succinct enough.

The First Line: "The tombstone loomed gray in the moonlight, its edges eroded into irregular shapes."

Fairly simple start as our aforementioned heroine Niki  Meyer and her boyfriend Terry Ryan head through the cemetery on Fear Street to reach the mansion where new transfer student Justine Cameron lives. See she's having an intimate Halloween Party that only a small few were invited to and this is where we get a larger cast than my past two Fear Street books. Also invited is friendly yet overweight Trisha McCormick, practical joker dweeb Ricky Schorr, linebacker Murphy Carter, basketball player David Sommers, the loose Angela Martiner, science whiz Les Whittle and Niki's ex-boyfriend and Terry's ex-best bud Alex Beale.

It's a grab bag of Shadyside High's cliques and that's exactly what happens the factions get divided in a prank war between the jocks (Alex, David and Murphy) and the wimps (Ricky, Les and Terry) even before the party happens! I guess Angela is on the jock team and Trisha is definitely on the wimp team but Niki doesn't chose sides because even though Alex is her ex she's above all the high school bullshit and is madly in love with Terry. Terry acknowledges that Niki is special and I hope it's the romantic in him and not the obvious because Niki is hearing-impaired (she is deaf but is an amazing lip reader that she doesn't sign or use a cochlear...pardon I watch a lot of Switched At Birth on ABCFamily...)

Terry calls Niki Funny Face so I assume it's because she looks like Audrey Hepburn after the film she starred in called Funny Face right?

Anyway, the night of the Halloween Party arrives and we have Terry as a 50s greaser, Niki as a medieval carnival reveler, Murphy as a zombie, Trisha as a 50s cheerleader, David as a basketball player who uses a human skull (how original *yawn*), Les as a skeleton, Ricky as a frog (by far the most creative with long-johns and diving flippers) Alex as some Silver Surfer knock-off, Angela as a biker chick and Justine as Elvira but blond. The party goes on with the normal tunes for dancing, a buffet of pizza and worldly cuisine, sodas and of course the prank war continues. Okay so maybe the front tagline wasn't that off because some party crashers (uninvited guests) do show up making a big Animal House kind of entrance on motorcycles.



These two guys are Bobby McCorey and Marty Danforth, the biggest bullies in school getting back at Justine for not inviting them to her Halloween Bash. Clearly drunk, these jerks begin destroying decorations, picking on the guests and even take to harassing Justine's Uncle Philip, the party's chaperone. Terry and David stand up to the bullies and they soon leave with threats to be back and even though they suggest letting the police know, Justine refuses and declares the party is still on! Soon, everyone is divided on a treasure hunt about the mansion and soon the pranks turn real, the house is swallowed in darkness and Les' dead body is found with a knife in his chest! Things get even worse when Philip and Niki end up missing and the guests realize they are trapped with a murderer as the rain pours outside! With a killer about it's safe to say the party is officially over...and the killer's fun has just begun.



As I am talking about all my Fear Street books, I realize that sometimes the endings and twists are pretty easy to discover. Even now you can probably guess who the killer might be but if you don't I definitely won't spoil it for you. Halloween Party to me is one of the better Fear Street books even if it has a kind of predictable plot and one that turns up a lot in later books and maybe even in earlier ones I have yet to read. I really like the characters of Terry and Niki mostly because Terry is a brave guy who stands up to bullies and loves Niki so genuinely.

Niki is one of the better Fear Street heroines because she is very mature for her age, doesn't take sides in fights, has a fun personality and cares about everyone...even her jerk of an ex, Alex. Okay so Alex is not that bad but he just has way too much arrogance that reminds me of all the awful guys I had the pleasure of going to school with but he gets better as the book goes along. My other favorite character is Ricky because he reminds me of the other guys I went to school with that were not jerks but funny and even dorky guys who were nice and the kind of guys I had lunch periods with.

Body Count: Poor Les is the only casualty of our cast :(

Cameo Time!: Jade Smith and Deena Martinson from The Wrong Number get mentioned being buddies of Niki's not invited to Justine's party and Lisa Blume of The New Girl is still trying to get the big scoop mostly on the exclusivity of the guest list for the same reason as the rest of the unlucky ones who didn't receive invitations...more like the lucky ones, eh? Also, Bobby McCorey just so happens to be one of the guys Chuck Martinson got in fights with in The Wrong Number so he's still bad ass as ever for all the wrong reasons.

THE SHADYSIDE HIGH TIME CAPSULE

One song played at the party has the lyrics "Pump up the jam" repeating over and over again and the only song I know like that is "Pump Up The Jam" by the group Technotronic so points for a nice early 90s dance song!



For ambiance, Justine has the film Bride of Frankenstein playing on her big-screen TV during the party and Terry sits down to watch a little bit of it. Good film it is something to be watched around Halloween or anytime for that matter.



So far in reading, Terry and Niki have to be my favorite couple so far. So to celebrate their loving relationship I have the perfect song for them from around this time. Not a popular release but another song from my favorite band of all-time:


NEXT TIME: We get to see what living on Fear Street is like with The Stepsister

Friday, March 21, 2014

Focusing On Fear Street - The Wrong Number


WELCOME TO FOCUSING ON FEAR STREET WITH THERESTHEGIRL

Book #5 in the Fear Street Series
Published March of 1990
Cover Art by Gabriel ?






So here we are back on Fear Street with the fifth book in the series (at the time I found this I had not seen the three books that followed The New Girl) so chronologically this was the next one I read. This was the original first edition cover and I have to say its very nice. In the background again is the titular Gothic Fear Street and in the foreground our two main heroines of the book, blonde Deena Martinson and auburn Jade Smith. Both girls do indeed look scared and have a phone up to their ears. I don't think this scene is actually in the book because it looks like it's happening during a slumber party. I think the cover is meant to draw in male readers because well Jade is sporting a nice little slip and some major leg. I would have to say it is one of my favorite covers. My second favorite is this very simple yet ominous (and story accurate scene) German cover:





Not a lot of detail but it still gets the point across that the story you are about to read has elements of horror and suspense which is all you really need. I couldn't find a lot of versions of cover art for this book but I do have to admit that my third favorite is this Portuguese cover:


I like it because it is bright and eye-catching and well...they really sexed up Deena to sell this book didn't they compared to the first one we saw? If you are wondering yes there is a man with a chainsaw in this book and the guy on the cover is also in the story...his name is Chuck but more on him in a minute. I have one more cover mention and that goes to the Spanish edition because well it just looks so pretty:

Deena and Jade just look like models don't they?




Taglines: "It began as a prank...and ended in murder" on the front cover. I think it is a good one and they have this printed in all caps so it can grab your attention! On the back is a quote which I can't remember fully if it is indeed from the book because it reminds me more of Princess Leia's famous quote from Star Wars at the end but:

"Please come quickly...you're my only hope!"



As with The New Girl, there is a prologue at the beginning of the book and at first glance, it isn't as much a spoiler to the action that will happen but having read it a couple of times it is a spoiler for me but not for any of you new readers. After the prologue and in to the the story proper we get...

The First Line: "The blob of green gel oozed like something from the bottom of a decaying swamp."

Wait did we switch genres? Are we in some weird sci-fi horror? Nope we are just joining Jade and Deena on a girls' night in doing some hair care with some stuff that is the staple of women being women. This is the Saturday night before school starts back up and both girls are B-O-R-E-D until Jade notices Deena's new hi-tech phone of the early 1990s and decides it would be fun to prank call some boys from Shadyside High and by prank I mean make sexy calls like ones men would dial 1-800 numbers for. Shy Deena isn't up for it until she makes a call to her crush Rob Morrell and soon discovers that not talking face-to-face with a cute guy is so much easier and she embraces her sex goddess side. 

Deena tells Rob she looks like Kim Basinger so here you go...

 After that fun opening chapter, we get to see that Deena and her family are going to pick up her half-brother Chuck (from her father's first marriage) at the airport. Chuck is a city kid expelled from his previous high school and a second-time senior moving to smaller Shadyside for a new start. To Deena, Chuck is good-looking except for the scowl/sneer on his face (which she calls a "snowl") but in the next minute he can have a goofy smile on his face. On the way home, The Martinson clan gets involved in a pile-up and Brother Chuck risks his own life to save a puppy from a burning, about to exploded vehicle for a little boy. Chuck is definitely an enigma going from hot to cold but as a person who lived in a big city and now lives in a small town I can understand that people handle change in different ways so this must be his. Of course, that also involves getting into fights at school with knives...oh Chuck what are we going to do with you?


I hear the name Chuck and this is what I see except now with a dog...

 So when Jade comes over a few nights later and the girls go back to doing their little sexy calls, Chuck stumbles upon them and says he will tell their parents everything unless they let Chuck join in on the fun. Chuck's idea of fun turns out to be making fake bomb threats to the local bowling alley and menacing the guys at school who have picked fights with him as "The Phantom of Fear Street"...really Chuck? So after it becomes clear that Jade and Chuck are getting closer Deena hopes that she will be a good influence on her brother and surely love redeems as the three teens agree to no longer make prank calls until a bat scares the girls so bad that they begin mentioning about how spooky Fear Street is all to Chuck's disbelief. To show Deena and Jade that there is nothing terrifying about an old creepy street he dials the first number in the phone book with a Fear Street address and calls it. I think fate steps in to prove him wrong as the number Chuck dials happens to be answered by a woman screaming for her life that someone is trying to kill her and then a gruff-voiced man tells them they have dialed...the wrong number. 



So of course comes the question...is this a prank? Deena, Jade and Chuck go to the address of the Farbersons and discover that a woman has been stabbed and a masked man is in the house! The three teenagers get away but the next night the cops are at the Martinson house questioning Chuck and Deena about the murder of Mrs. Farberson whom her husband says was attacked by the two of them and another girl(Jade) as they robbed the house. The situation gets even stickier when Chuck's fingerprints turn up on the knife used to murder Mrs. Farberson (he picked it up to use in self-defense ignoring what we all know what NOT to do at a crime scene) so now he is being charged for murder and is thrown in jail. Both Jade and Deena know he is innocent so now the two girls must find a way to clear his name and they know the only thing they can do is to go back to Fear Street and find the real murderer...

Now by telling you the basics it is almost pretty easy to tell how this story is going to play out...and the fact that there was a Wrong Number 2 doesn't help much on the surprise. Besides that, I really enjoyed reading The Wrong Number because it is a good mystery story more than an actual tale of horror.

Jumpsuits - how Jade solves murders. It's her fashion of choice throughout the book...

Body Count: Poor Mrs. Edna Farberson :(

Cameo Time!: Both Lisa Blume and Cory Brooks from The New Girl show up. Cory appears in a newspaper article being one of the happy few ushered out of the bowling alley by Chuck's first prank call, ruining his perfect game as quoted in the book. Lisa shows up to talk to Deena about writing an article for the school newspaper concerning Chuck's arrest wanting the hot scoop.

THE SHADYSIDE TIME CAPSULE

Chuck sports a shirt featuring the band R.E.M. - a turquoise one at that! It seems our tough guy also saves puppies and enjoys some good alternative, college rock.



The night of the prank call that leads to all the big trouble, out three heroes get together for a little barbeque. They have burgers, potato salad and peach ice cream all to the tunes playing on Deena's tape player. The band name dropped by Stine is Dire Straits. So Deena likes Dire Straits? Kinda cool. This would be the album Brothers In Arms released back in 1985, a classic album.



It is clear that Chuck and Jade become very close in this book and I have the perfect song for them as a couple because you see my favorite band released an album around this time and well if you look past the lyrics I think this song released as the first single is a nice choice:





NEXT TIME: Not exactly the right time of year for a Halloween Party but on Fear Street...it's always time for terror!