Rich and Shane share some random shit they fucking love
Sometimes on the weekends, we talk to each other via Slack off and on all day, sometimes talking business and planning strategies, sometimes just bullshitting because we are brothers from different mothers and we have a ton of common interests. And during those bullshit sessions, we often talk about things we love and we thought you might love some of them too, so here we are sharing with a few with you each week. Check back every Sunday for more Slices. Our interests are many and our lists of favorite things are boundless.
A24 is one of those film companies that when I hear they are releasing something, it instantly shoots to the top of my watch list. When you see that logo hit the screen, it’s a mark of quality. They have released a slew of fantastic genre films including Under The Skin, The Rover, Ex Machina, The Witch, Green Room, and Hereditary just to name a few. So when I saw the trailer for The Hole in the Ground, I knew I had to see it. The quick plot synopsis is a mother and her son move to the Irish countryside to escape an abusive husband and they live in a house surrounded by a dense forest that has an enormous sinkhole at its center. After a chance encounter with a strange woman from her new town, Sarah begins to notice strange things about her son that make her question what’s real. and what follows is a film about paranoia. The film has gorgeous cinematography that takes full advantage of the stunning and haunting scenery to create an ominous atmosphere. The Hole in the Ground relies on patient pacing to establish a sense of dread that becomes more terrifying than any jump scare. It’s a self-contained film that leans heavily on great performances by the two leads – Seána Kerslake and James Quinn Markey – and offers up some genuinely scary moments. This is the first feature length film from Lee Cronin and he’s definitely a director to keep an eye on. The Hole in the Ground is on Prime now, so really you have no excuse to not check it out.
The Luminous Dead was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and while I’ll have a full review coming soon, this book was too damn good not to include with this week’s picks. One of the most exciting experiences for me as a reader is discovering a new voice and being utterly blown away by their talent. That’s what happened when I first picked up Caitlin Starling’s The Luminous Dead, a genre hybrid that succeeds on all levels and establishes Starling as a writer destined to be a force in the horror genre. The novel focuses on a caver named Gyre, who is desperate to leave her home planet of Cassandra V by any means necessary. She has her reasons for wanting to flee and even though she has no professional caving experience, she lies her way into a dangerous yet lucrative solo mission. The payout from such a job is so great that it will only take her this job to get the money she needs to leave her world and make a better life. A short cut golden ticket that would have taken her a handful of regular jobs to complete. Armed with the latest high tech mining suit, Gyre’s bravado makes her believe she will accomplish this job with ease. However, the longer she spends beneath the surface of Cassandra V, she realizes this job is anything but normal. She’s down their alone, with no team to assist her and her only top aide support is a mysterious woman named Em. The Luminous Dead mixes multiple genres and both psychological and real horrors to create one of the year’s best reads.
When it comes to creature based horror, few authors do it as expertly as Hunter Shea. His latest novella from Severed Press finds a team of scientists and adrenaline junkies in the frozen wastelands of Antarctica as they survive a vicious earthquake. While a disaster of that magnitude is enough to shake the team to its core, the real danger comes from what follows. A bleak story that is equal parts The Thing and 30 Days of Night filtered through Shea’s trademark brand of chaos, this novella blends terrifying creatures and the psychological implications of isolation into a whirlwind thrill ride that would make for a perfect read this summer if you’re looking to escape the hellish heat for a few hours. Trust me, even when you think Antarctic Ice Beasts reaches the peak of it’s action, Hunter turns things up to 11. If you haven’t read any of Hunter’s books yet, I only have one question. What the hell are you waiting for?! If you dig no-holds-barred horror and blood thirsty monsters are your thing, Hunter’s books are an essential addition to your library.
I’m a huge fan of hardcore, punk and pretty much any form of alternative and underground music. In a stark contrast to last week’s musical choice, I wanted to highlight one of my all-time favorite albums – Converge’s crushing You Fail Me. A lot of people point to Jane Doe as the band’s finest work to date, and there’s no denying the impact and legacy of that album. But I feel that their follow-up, You Fail Me, is equally as great. An album that’s both abrasive and brutal while remaining infinitely replayable, You Fail Me was the band’s first album to crack the Billboard 200. Converge have always had an unwavering vision and blazed their own path. They remain innovative and devastatingly powerful as they approach an impressive thirty years as a band. “First Light” and “Last Light” serve as one hell of an opening salvo and while I love this album front to back, there is one song I want to highlight, and that is the album’s title track. You know the images you conjure up when watching or reading about a post-apocalyptic world? Meet its auditory equivalent.
The Night Comes For Us
The Night Comes For Us has a revered place in the list of Ink Heist’s favorite films. This Indonesian crime film is action-packed, blood-soaked and grabs viewers by the throat pretty much from the opening scene. While the movie boasts a two hour run time, there is not a single lull to be found and Shane and I both were clamoring for more when we reached the end. Shane and I dig violent, gritty crime films and as far as we are concerned, The Night Comes For Us is among the best films that meet that criteria. Seriously, I don’t think we have uttered that many consecutive expletives in a chat since we first met each other. It’s that good. The film follows Triad assassin Ito as he attempts to protect a young girl from his former associates as they hurl every killer in their ranks in his path. There is some absolutely jaw-dropping martial arts fight scenes and a ridiculous body count. If you dig violent crime films, head on over to Netflix and meet your new favorite movie.
This movie was an eye-opener for me, having seen very little horror in space that was worth the goddamn celluloid. So I didn’t really have a hell of a lot of interest in this one until Steve Pattee over at Horror DNA told me it was fantastic. Like Rich and I, Steve and I are brothers from different mothers and it’s a rare occasion indeed when we don’t see eye to eye on books and film. So I dove into that sucker, and boy am I glad I did. Fucking Hellraiser in space, people, and I say, “yes, please.” Featuring Sam Neill in the best performance of his career, Event Horizon is everything you could want from an SF Horror movie, and Director Paul Anderson deserves all the kudos in the world for his work on this film. If you haven’t seen it yet, well, you know what to do.
The Green Mile – Original Serialized Edition
This is an easy pick and a forever love for me. I’m not talking about just the collected, compiled full-length novel. It has to be the serialized edition, and you kind of have to have lived it to understand. In the spring of 1996, I walked into a plaid pantry, a chain convenience store that was then everywhere you turned in the City of Portland, and discovered there a little book called The Two Dead Girls (Green Mile Series Part 1). It was a small-seeming event that ended up changing the entire spring and summer of that year for me. Every month up through August, they released a new volume in the series and every month, I was right there at that shitty little convenience store, impatiently waiting for the next book to arrive. It was one of the most memorable reading experiences I’ve ever had and the book itself became one of my favorite stories of all time. Most of you will have read it by now, but if you, but if you haven’t, that’s something you most definitely want to unfuck.
Off Season– by Jack Ketchum
What does one say about this amazing book? In 1980 I was fourteen years old and had two adult horror novels under my belt, having recently been brought over to the dark side by Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, which I stole off my dad’s bookshelf one weekend. My young dumb ass thought it know what horror could really be. I mean if King and Straub can’t show you what it is, who the hell can, right? Well, turns out I didn’t know a goddamn thing the guys who ended up showing me the truth of it were the likes of Joe Lansdale, Clive Barker, and Richard Laymon. But I came to them via this legendary author and this incredibly brutal novel. It was an eye-opener and a game changer for me, and my persona as a genre fiction reader was baptized in the blood and viscera that was freely splattered between these pages. If you haven’t yet experienced it, you really need to. But be warned, it makes no apologies for its viciousness and it is not for the faint of heart.
In Step – by Stevie Ray Vaughan
On the evening of August 28th, 1990, I received word that this incredible young blues phenom had died the previous night in a horrific helicopter crash. To say I was crushed would be an understatement. I loved everything he’d ever done to date and was anxiously waiting for him to someday do a show in my town so I could see him and hopefully get him to autograph my guitar. That bucket list item never did and never will get checked off, though I did eventually get his brother Jimmie’s signature. But he left behind a true legacy and a lexicon of incredible blues music that I cherish to this day, particularly In Step. Packed with stellar translations of old classics and some new songs of his own, Vaughan was at the very top of his loft game here and I’ll never forget the way he made–and still makes–me feel when I listen to his music.
Sweetlings – by Lucy Taylor
Really, when it comes to Lucy Taylor, I could pick any of her stories and they’d fit on a list of Shane’s favorites. As author crushes go, my love for all things Taylor runs as deep as the ocean and high as the moon. I have read oodles and oodles of stories by her and I’ve yet to meet a Taylor story I didn’t absolutely adore. Her prose is dark, sensual, tense, and chilling and it lives deep in your mind and heart, slowly revealing layers and nuances, making her stories as living, breathing things that won’t let go of you easily after you finish them. Go pick up a copy of Sweetlings and see for yourself. Lucy Taylor will change your life.
That’s all for now. Check back next week for more Sunday Slices. Find your new favorite thing!
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