Movies You Can’t Stop Watching or The Mommy Dearest Syndrome

Today I want to talk about something that I like to call The Mommy Dearest Syndrome.  You know what I mean.  We all have that movie (or five) that, if we happen to flip through and land on it accidentally, we can’t stop watching.

I have a few movies like this, the big gold medal winner being “Mommy Dearest.”  Call me crazy.  Now, I can’t say exactly what it is about this film… Is the acting so high-caliber that it sucks me in like a black hole?  No.  Do I have an unbridled obsession with Joan Crawford?  No, again.  Do I beat my kids with wire hangers for using said wire hangers, and the movie somehow validates my poor parenting choices?  Not at all.  Although I do like to scream “No wire hangers EVER!” at random and inappropriate times.  Who doesn’t?

But I could turn on the TV to check the weather before going out for a root canal and if Mommy Dearest happened to be sucking back G and Ts and introducing strange men to her kids as “Uncle” So and So, I’m in trouble.  Yeah, I’m making that call and canceling my appointment.  I’m eating the fifty dollar late cancellation fee.  I’m sucking back G and Ts to dull the throbbing pain of my abcessed tooth.  All during the commercial break, mind you, because the only channels that run “Mommy Dearest” are the ones with frequent and excessive commercial breaks and I don’t want to miss a second of it.  I’m already suffering from an inexplicable depression for coming in when my movie is half over.  Or maybe because there is still half to go.  I can’t say, really.  I’m getting that nauseous feeling just thinking about watching it now.

That’s okay.  I’ll take the multiple advertisement opportunities to thaw out a steak for dinner or check the kids closets.

By the way, I love the steak part.  I think about it every time I make my kids finish their dinner.  I thought about it a lot yesterday when my youngest’s granola bar he pestered me for (no, not pestered, he rode me like a trick pony until I finally got off my butt and gave it to him, and all five minutes after a dinner he barely ate because he was “tooooooo fullllll”) was sitting on the table overnight because, when he became “tooooooo fullllll” to finish that, I was like, “Oh, you’re full of something, alright” and I left it on the table for a pre-breakfast snack the next day.

That was a long sentence.  My apologies.  My point is, I am totally picking up what Joan is dropping in that scene.

And, just like Joan, I threw the damn thing out about twenty-four hours later when, beaten down, I simply gave up.

Frankly, I think she got a bad rap.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll make the children address me as Mommy Dearest for the day, just to try it on for size.

Another movie that I can’t turn away from is “Ghosts of Mars.”  Yeah, yeah, laugh if you will–I finally made my husband watch this one and he was all, “that wasn’t scary at all!”  But, in my defense, there is something chilling about people being overcome by some nasty entity that makes them psycho killers and causes them to stick barbs through their faces without even wincing.  It could happen to anyone!  Ooh!  That just reminded me of the movie “Fallen,” which is another one I can’t pass up when it’s on.  Fantastic flick.

Also, along a similar vein of gut-grabbing creepy is “28 Days Later” which I could watch over and over and over and still be pants-peeingly scared.

And finally, “The Departed.”  No need for explanation.  Okay, I will anyway.  Leo.

Warning: This video has many F bombs and one Indian in the Cupboard.

So, lay it on me.  I’m really curious to hear what flicks other folks can’t flip off.  Comment.  Comment now.  Ready, set, go.

Bronies: For the Love of Ponies

Well, the print book is now available. In fact, I have my author’s copy on my bookshelf (just to see how it looks with my other books ;)). Of course, I won’t leave it there long because I am so excited to read this puppy. Here is a link to Kazka Press’ website where they can take direct orders for the book. The publisher is working on final formatting for the e-book as I type, so I’ll keep you posted on that.  Get it?  Posted?

These aren’t your sister’s ponies.

Kazka also has the table of contents up and links to read three of the stories in the book. Try one out just to see what the hell all of this Brony business is about. These stories ooze speculative fiction and are just plain fun, or eerie, or both.

I let my nine-year old read “Ponies” by Kij Johnson and asked what she thought.

“It was great!” She said.

“Great like it made you feel happy and shiny inside?”

“No. Definitely not that kind of great.”

[Disclaimer:  This is not a children’s book, but I had previewed “Ponies” and deemed it acceptable for my little “Goosebumps” fan.  Some tales may contain the occasional vulgarity].

And it’s not that kind of great. It’s the great of that first real breath after you just got the wind slammed out of you.

It’s the great of watching a bunch of annoying children slug a baseball bat into a piñata and having a load of beetles spill out into their greedy, grasping hands.

It’s the great of seeing a beautiful mushroom cloud explode and expand against a blood-red sunset, complete with irradiated marshmallows on a stick and the coolest shades you’ve ever owned.

So go grab a sample. Take a bite out of that marshmallow and taste for yourself how disconcertingly delicious it can be.

Bronies:  Damn straight these aren’t your sister’s ponies.

Kim Krodel: On Childhood Nightmares

Kim Krodel: On Childhood Nightmares.

Check out my guest post over on Sirens Call Press’ blog.  It details my inspiration for my story ‘Baby Teeth’ in Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed.

Read my post!  Read it!  (in the Scotts Turf Builder guy’s voice).

 

“Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed” The Ultimate Blog Tour

“Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed”

What immobilizes a child with such fear that they are unable to utter the merest of sounds, calling out for help to make the terrors of the night go away?  Twelve of today’s most gifted Indie authors wrung from their own psyches a series of stories so disturbed and bone chilling that even you may find yourself checking Under the Bed before it’s time for lights out!

Those whispered tales of monsters hiding under the bed, or of the demons lurking in the shadowy corner where we dare not glance for fear that seeing them will make them all too real. Oh, how the innocent landscape of a child’s imagination lends fertile soil to horrors ready to be sown on the slightest of sounds; the tales and the terror they wreak on our youthful minds never quite leaves us.

We asked the authors in this collection to reach into the forgotten recesses of their twisted minds and share with us the tales of nightmares that can only thrive in the hidden corners of a child’s imaginings; the bogeyman under the bed, the outlandishly fiendish creature lurking in the dark, the slight murmur of sound coming from the hall… did you close the door completely?

Explore the myriad terrors that only a child can twist from nothing into some ‘thing’ in the span of a single rapid breath. Do you dare delve into your own memories? Perhaps you’ll start sleeping with the lights on again…

Tell us, who is Under the Bed?

 

Contributing Authors:  Colin F. Barnes, Nina D’Arcangela, Phil Hickes, Amber Keller,

Kim Krodel, Lisamarie Lamb, John McIlveen, Kate Monroe, Brandon Scott,

Joshua Skye, Julianne Snow, and Jack Wallen

If you’d like a copy of Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed, please visit one of these retailers:

Print book:          Amazon.com, CreateSpace.com

eBook:                  Amazon.com, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it

Smashwords.com (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, PDF)

 

Three short samples of the tales found in “Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed

 

‘Baby Teeth’  – Kim Krodel

She adds every tooth she gets to her disgusting smile.  But the screws keep growing out of her gums.  She never runs out of space for more teeth.”

“Why does she want them?”  Brian’s voice was small.  His eyes bugged, as if the skeletons stacked in God’s closet were tumbling out at his feet.

“For biting, Dummy.  She likes to eat little kids.”  Cal grinned as he spoke.  “If she bites you with her screws, your skin gets stuck to ’em, so she likes teeth better; so she doesn’t have to floss so much.”

“No, she doesn’t.  She’s nice—she gives presents!  Mom said!”

“That’s what Mom wants you to think.  Otherwise you’d freak out about it.”

Brian blinked, staring and processing; weighing his brother’s words against those he had gathered from adults.

“See this?”  Cal rolled up a pant leg to reveal a jagged run of lumpy, silver skin.  “She bit me hard the first tooth I lost ‘cause I didn’t know what was coming.  Now I’m big enough to fight her off.”  Calvin posed like a weight-lifter…”

 

‘Telling Tales’ – Phil Hickes

“She’s here for yet another visit with her cat, Demdike. None of which sounds too bad, you say? Lots of young boys have stuffy old grandmothers and aunties that they have to put up with. And cats are cute and fluffy.

But Peter’s Aunt Alice scares him. In fact, she frightens him to death. And her cat is just as bad, with fur as black as its soul.

That’s why he’s reluctant to go upstairs; because soon, Aunt Alice will be up to tell him a bedtime story. It’s become something of a custom. Peter was delighted when she first offered to come and tuck him in. Despite feeling a little nervous in her presence, and a tiny bit afraid of her pinched, lined face, white hair and bony limbs, she was a welcome female presence. For the first few minutes it had been enjoyable too. She wrapped the sheets tightly around him, clicked off the overhead light and turned on the lamp. He felt warm and snug…”

But then she began to tell him the stories…”

 

‘Timothy’ – Joshua Skye

Quivering from fear, her teeth rattling in her little head, hands trembling, she stared into the deep darkness to catch any movement; the twinkling of an eye perhaps. Anything to let her know where he was, out there in the darkness. There was nothing for a long time.

“Where are you?” she muttered in a squeaky voice. Something moved in her peripheral vision. She turned. Fast, but not fast enough. Perhaps it was nothing more than a shadow that had just blended with the dark. “Timothy, you stop it. You stop it right now.” She tried to sound like her mother, to mimic her authoritative tone, but it hadn’t worked. Her voice had cracked and it trembled with her apprehension. “I know it’s you,” she whispered, more to herself than to him.

She started to cry, she couldn’t help it. Her tears streamed down her tiny face and there was a lump forming in her throat. She had to fight to swallow; she had to fight to breathe.

Timothy began to mock her. “Timothy, please. Stop it, Timothy! Go away, Timothy.” The sinister, scratchy voice seemed to come from everywhere, the shadows, the darkness, under the desk, from behind the stuffed animals, under the bed…”

 

Please visit the Sirens Call Publications web site for an extended preview available for download.