Writer’s Bio

Posted in Uncategorized on June 14, 2012 by cavillier

ImageC.G. (Chris) Eberle is a proud life long resident of Buffalo, New York. A writer since he was 5 years old, Chris started with his homemade comic books and story books, and then seriously took to writing in high school. While in college, studying English Education, C.G. was published twice in 2004 & 2006, and then switched gears to one of his major passions, mysteries.

Besides writing C.G. also is a Old West Historian, an avid classic movie fan & collector, a lover of most styles of music, an avid reader, and dabbles in the kitchen quite well. Currently he is finishing his follow up mysteries, Family Plots and Family Education.

Family Ties- Update February 2012

Posted in Books Coming Soon, Personal Library on February 17, 2012 by cavillier

Hi all,

Hope all you lovers had a nice Valentine’s Day, for me I continued a long-ongoing Chris Eberle tradition that’s been in play since my late teens for the 14th of February. I crack open a bottle of soda, bring out some snacks, and sit down & watch the original My Bloody Valentine. So anyone else think I need a social life and/or a girlfriend or two. Or at the least a friends-with-benefits partner? Ha-Ha! Just kidding folks.

Well I wanted to tell everyone an update on what’s been happening, and took place starting last week  Friday. In the early evening I got an email from a book publisher, Pulse Publishing. I heard about them from one of the women in my Mystery Writers Critique Group in Yahoo. I sent a query E-mail to them, they asked for the first three chapters, then Friday I got a full manuscript request. As you can imagine I was jazzed. I’d been sending e-mail queries to agents for quiet awhile now, and havent had much success, which is one of the reasons I opted to submit Family Ties as an E-book. So Friday night, up till 3a.m., all day Saturday and Sunday I re-polished Family Ties, and sent it to Pulse, got a confirmation email yesterday, and now I sit and wait. Oh joy.

About Pulse Publishing; from their website Pulse Publishing is an exciting new traditional publishing imprint committed to cultivating and promoting the works of aspiring and established authors. From what they posted on their site, it looks like they offer a lot ;

 Worldwide Availability
Through our extensive network of distributors and wholesalers, we will ensure that your book is available for sale in bookstores and libraries worldwide, greatly expanding the scope of your potential readership.

       eBook Availability
We will convert your title into eBook format, making it available for sale on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and many other digital retail outlets throughout the World Wide Web.  Now I put F.T. out as an E-book on Kindle & Nook but Pulse can put it into other media as well. What concerns me is telling them this. One other thing I’ll run past them if I get accepted is those folks who already bought F.T. paid $3.99 a pop. After these alterations I made I don’t think it’s fair to ask them again, so I’m thinking for one week I give away my mystery for free and tell everyone.
       Press Release
We will craft a customized press release to boost interest in your title and submit it to thousands of media outlets worldwide, ensuring that it’s seen by millions of potential readers across the globe.

       Book Reviews
We will provide copies of your book for professional reviewers – including newspapers, magazines, and independent review firms – in order to help generate critical acclaim for your title. This I’d love to see happen.       Book Trailer
We will create and distribute a high quality book trailer for your title, greatly enhancing its visibility and ultimately boosting your sales.  With new technologies things never ceases to amaze me, but book trailers blow my doors off. I been asked if I can imagine a movie based off my book, and as awesome as that would be, there is a part of me that doesn’t think I’d go that route if offered. I heard enough horror stories from Sue Grafton, but a trailer is another animal. After seeing their work I’d love to see what they could do.
 
       Online Tours
We will arrange extensive online tours for your book, enabling you to connect with millions of potential readers through websites, blogs, social media channels, and other online outlets. Ok, I have my blog, (whether anyone reads I don’t know), I’m on Facebook too. I admit I don’t Tweet, not interested in it, but I’d be willing to see what they have to offer.
   
    

In-Store Signings
We will contact bookstores, libraries, and other retail venues in order to arrange in-store appearance opportunities for you to promote and sign copies of your book. For my first two books, Rainbow Warrior Genesis and The Era of Heroes put out through Publish America, I had to do my own promoting. and had a couple of signings. Now I gotta tell what happened at my first. I arraigned for it to happen at the Waldenbooks that used to be at my local mall, my Dad and I got a little local press. I paid for flyers and posters. It happened on my birthday, July 10, 2004. I had only three people show up; and I was there alone. My folks went on a trip with some friends instead of showing up. What also killed was the weather, which was gorgeous, and it was the same weekend as ‘The Taste of Buffalo’, a local festival held every year in July, at the weekend of my birthday. This year it was on a Saturday, so a ton of folks were Downtown, great huh? Well if Pulse & I can strike a deal hopefully there won’t be any repeats.

       Media Appearances
We will contact a host of different media outlets – including television and radio stations, newspapers, and magazines – in order to secure invaluable promotional opportunities for you and your title.  What author wouldn’t like this?
 
Currently Pulse has eight authors, covering  what looks like human growth and forgiveness, and suspense/mystery, so I should be a good fit
 
I have a pretty good feeling about this, and can use some good news after the past four/five years. Maybe this is the real start for me as a writer. At the very least I’ve been inspired to keep up the writing, while I’m still on the job hunt.  So in the mean time I’m polishing Family Plots, the first follow-up John Seraph mystery, where the murder of John’s neighbor leads John to uncover a forgotten atrocity left over  from World War 2 and I’ve begun work on Family Education, the third mystery  where John becomes involved in the murder of a fellow college student, and the prime suspect is a professor  they shared.
 
Like most writers I have a number of future story ideas; for John Seraph I’ve about 34 ideas right now, on top of which I have a few more ideas; I’ve got on the back burner stories re: Vlad Tepes alive fighting his curse and seeking to kill Lilith with some special help; a superhero murder mystery set in Buffalo; a philosophy based on one of favorite movie series.  
 
Well that’s all for now; once I hear something I’ll post an update and on my Facebook page.  Keep your fingers crossed and I’ll do the same.
 
PS; Check out Pulse Publishing and see what they have to offer you, whether as a reader or writer.  http://www.pulsepub.net/Home.html

1901 Pan-Am Expo Story

Posted in Personal Library on January 15, 2012 by cavillier

The following documents are the reported events that took place

during the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

These documents are not to be duplicated or taken out of the

custody of the Department of Justice or the United States Government.

 

To do so will result in the prosecution and imprisonment of any

individuals involved in such actions.

 

My name is Samuel Clemens and I was asked by certain government officials of the highest levels to record a recent adventure I took part in. Most in the world would find this story unbelievable, and some would say it was nothing more than a creation of my writer’s imagination. I assure whoever may read this account; this story is true, fantastic but true. Also this is the only account of this tale because the extraordinary gentlemen I shared this adventure with, as well as myself have been sworn to secrecy. The proper “cover-up” has begun and appropriate steps have been made to keep the world at large from learning the truth, because if the truth were ever fully revealed then a worldwide panic could ensue. Knowing what I know now, I wholeheartedly agree withWashington’s security measures. After these events I am reminded of what Shakespeare wrote of things in Heaven and Earth, and I admit I have been forced to rethink some of my philosophies.

Samuel Clemens;

(Mark Twain)

September 16, 1901

 

I recently returned home to Riverdale with Livy after a brief visit to a favorite city of mine that I once called home.Buffalo, New Yorkhas grown by incredible measures; industry, invention, population. Basically every aspect of modern man’s life has been expounded by leaps and bounds. A prime example of this growth is how some homes in the region have been outfitted for the new electrical light, while most remain “stuck” with gas. This is all thanks to some brilliant minds being able to harness the unimaginable power out of the American and Canadian falls at Niagara Falls, NY. Although I wonder how long this can last, only man’s foolish arrogance can assume that we can fully ensnare the power Mother Nature possesses.

As I mentioned, Livy and I just returned home from Buffalo, where we attended the Pan-American Exposition, which I must say was very impressive. I am hopeful that the showcase was a boon to the city, but from the turnout I saw, I am doubtful. Of course one must keep in mind the Exposition has been going on since May, and will continue to do so for another month and a half, so only time will tell.

It was good to see some of my old friends and acquaintances from The Buffalo Express, whom I was able to reintroduce, and in some cases finally introduce Livy to. I really have let too much time pass since I met up with old friends and talked about past glories. Introducing Livy to my old friends and showing her my old home on Delaware Avenue made me feel good, letting her into this part of my past did us both good. Granted we met in Buffalo, but there were things, long forgotten by most that I was involved with, that in telling Livy helped me finally clear the air, and made me feel like a new man. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to talk about these events, but for now, they’ll stay between me and Livy.

Well while attending the Exposition we met up with old friends and through them made new ones. One lady in particular was a Ms. L. Barrett, the headmistress of a girl’s school in Buffalo. Ms. Barrett who lives near the Expo Grounds, frequently hosts guests of all sorts in her lavish parlor. The night Livy and I met Ms. Barrett through a friend from The Express, she invited us over for refreshments and stimulating conversation. In exchange for a few libations I regaled Ms. Barrett and her company with some of my tales from my greener days when I piloted steamboats, helped form the Marion Rangers during the Civil War, and wrote of some of the most amazing characters of my imagination including a certain celebrated frog, spirited boys like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, and the challenging Hank Morgan. I found the lady of the house a most intelligent and intriguing creature of beauty as well, that I must call on again when I return toBuffalo.

As for the Exposition itself there was plenty to see and do for all. Demonstrations and exhibits of all kinds including the Temple of Music, the Vencian Cannels, the African Village along the Midway, the Horti Culture Exhibit, and the Acetylene Showcase. But most impressive was the Tower Electrical Building which stands like a giant beacon for the city. I must admit I felt a swell of pride for a friend of mine who worked on and helped design the Tower. This of course was not the first or last of my friend’s achievements, but quite arguably this massive structure may have been his greatest.

Well I suppose the true starting point of this tale was September 6, 1901, when Polish anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot President William McKinley and then Czolgosz entered the Halls of Eternal Infamy when the commander in chief died eight days later from the gangrene that set into his body. The country was sent into a state of shock and disbelief it had seldom seen and everyone seems to be still in a state of mourning. The world went on, and so did the people of Buffalo. In an peculiar way I believe the Exposition was a benefit to the citizens because the locals who were working at the Expo, and in the surrounding industries of hotels, cab drivers, restaurateurs, rooming houses, and oh so many others who also depend on these industries, these people and so many others not only needed the jobs and the money working the Expo provided but also the care and feeding of the visitors helped bring the people of Buffalo a feeling of purpose that was needed. 

 I fully entered this story on the afternoon of the fifteenth, the day after the death of President McKinley. I was feeling out of sorts, as we all were and Livy and I left our hotel on Delawareand took a horse-drawn carriage ride to the Expo Grounds. There seemed to be an uncomfortable silence between us, but it seemed to cover the entire city like a shroud. The weather was a surprising treat; instead of the a rainy and foul autumn day, the air was cool and crisp, with blue skies, white clouds drifting about lazily like a puffy dandelion seed carrying stems blown apart by a child on a summer’s day.

As we headed towards the grounds Livy and I tried to discuss our day’s plans and the events and exhibits we hadn’t seen yet, that we wanted to. She was most anxious to see the production A Trip to the Moon. I must admit I was curious to see how this would compare to the works of Wells and Verne. We entered the northwesterly entrance at a portion of the Midway that held exhibits from various cultures around the world. These showcases were insulting representations of the Anglo’s view of people different from themselves. As we passed by these “cultures” of the African, Hawaiian, Mexican, Filipino, and Native American, my own indifferences from my younger and more foolhardy days flashed through my mind and I felt ashamed of past actions and attitudes. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to atone for them.

As Livy and I reached the showpiece of the Expo, the Electrical Tower, we were overtaken with a sense of awe and wonder at the beacon. We had only seen it from a distance the previous week, and at night. But up close during the daytime was something entirely different. This structure was the equal to the Colossus of Rhodes in strength and power. I knew my old friend had helped develop the Tower’s lighting and electrical systems and felt rightfully proud of what he accomplished. My lady fair had been told by our hotel’s bellman of an excellent, exclusive restaurant in the Tower, and she wanted to go. Being the man who I am, who was I to deny her anything?

As we came past the Streets of Mexico displays and turned towards the Tower we saw a man rushing towards the Tower past the crowds as if he were oblivious to the men, women, children and events going on around him. When I saw him I could not believe my eyes because it was the very man I had been thinking about, my friend the inventor Nikola Tesla. I called out to Nikola while rushing away from Livy and towards my old friend, and after a third time he finally heard me and turned back. It was a great moment for us, since it had been some time since we had seen one another, and after the proper introductions had been made, for a few moments there was an uncomfortable silence, but after they passed, Nikola and Livy seemed to take a real liking to one another. The uneasiness may have been due to the initial awkwardness of two parts of my life coming together and meeting one another for the first time. We explained we were about to go to lunch and invited Nikola to join us, then he explained he needed to check some of the lighting equipment at the top of the Tower, but would join us after he finished.

We ordered what turned out to be an excellent lunch of pork, veal, and porterhouse steak, with various cheeses and luncheon meats such as ham, turkey, roast beef, sardines, and caviar as our appetizers. To drink I recall there was Golden fizz, Claret Lemonade, a disappointing Claret, and some good old-fashioned draft beer. All in all a grand meal.

The rest of the afternoon was a blur between Nikola and I telling Livy of our past adventures, Livy and I telling him of domestic misadventures, or the pair of them telling one another some of my more embarrassing moments and sharing a laugh or two at my expense. After lunch Nikola gave us a tour of the Tower and a private showing of some of his latest inventions on display, some of which were even more fantastic than anything Hank Morgan used in Camelot. After attending the Expo and seeing A Trip to the Moon we began to make dinner plans as the day was drawing late. We headed towards another restaurant along the Midway near where Livy and I entered the grounds, and as we strolled along we could not help but notice a group of children swarming around a young couple. The man and woman looked familiar but I could not remember from where I had previously seen them, and finally the man gave in to the children’s pleas. We stopped and watched as he performed some amazing slight of hand with a girl’s cameo, and collimated his act with a few borrowed props to make his wife, I learned later, “hypnotized” and suspend her in mid air. After the impromptu show it finally occurred to me where I had seen them before. The previous year I had to attend to business in London,England, and while there Livy and I saw a performance at Albert Hall of the great Harry Houdini.

After the children scattered, we introduced ourselves to the Houdinis and congratulated them. Harry and Bess were most gracious and complimentary about my books as I was about their performances, and we invited them to join us for dinner and soon the five of us found ourselves at an authentic Oriental restaurant on the Midway.

As dinner progressed talk turned to how many other famous or infamous celebrities who were also in attendance. We knew Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West Show were here to entertain the children, and I understood that Conrad Diehl, mayor of Buffalo has been in attendance regularly, and various members of the Albright family have been seen here, despite the labor and union problems going on with their future museum still under construction. George Pierce who created a motorette, the newly appointed President

Theodore Roosevelt, the once proud and great warrior Geronimo, famous sculptor Augustus Saint Garders and as I found out there was one more who was not well received by one of us, one Thomas Edison. I am not privy to all the details, but I know Nikola and Edison met in 1884 after Tesla arrived in New York City, and the two inventors had a major falling out. As far as I know Nikola has not spoken to or forgiven Edison at all.

After dinner our collective merriment entered the night and it seemed as if the “shroud” I previously spoke of had been lifted much to my relief. The sun had set and the Expo grounds hummed with an electrical buzz of power flowing into the buildings and showing off the lights that illuminated whatever they touched. Most impressive was the Tower’s light which leapt across the inky sky, like a child playing hopscotch.

Our little group was at the Court of Fountains in front of the Tower and as we were talking over lemonades, I noticed Nikola staring off into space, and he pointed out to us that there was something in the sky. We began to look up, as did other Expo goers, which was not difficult to do since the object grew larger. At first glance one could mistake it for another star, but it was growing.

Nikola pointed out that it was not growing but getting closer to us, getting closer to the Earth. With each second that passed the tension grew stronger, and a lot of people began to grow nervous including myself, but I could see Livy was scared and I suspect Bess was as well because Houdini began to rush her towards the exit, and I followed suit with Livy.

Once we all were onAmherst Streetwe saw the crowds turning into a panicked mob, since the object was the size of a house while it was getting larger and closer still. By this point we could clearly see that it was round, almost like a sphere, except it looked angular as if the sides were pieces of glass joined at the ends and sides. The sphere was glowing red hot and its entry into our atmosphere not only left a streaking trail of fire and smoke, but also a hideous and deafening, whistling scream which sounded as if a bomb were being dropped. The closer it came the more noise it produced, and the more cries and screams came from the crowded Expo grounds. Livy and I held onto one another unsure what was about to happen, and finally the sphere crashed into Park Lake sending up a wall of water and the steam was rushing up like a rising curtain when the curious onlookers reached the crash site behind the developing art gallery.

At this point half the crowd had run away by foot, carriages drawn by equally terrified horses, or even on bicycles stolen from the Expo Grounds. The other half consisted of the brave, the curious, and of course local law enforcement and members of the US Army who were in attendance. By the time the five of us reached the site the Army had the area cordoned off, but from what I could see the curiosity of the brave reached a certain point because no one was getting too close to the water, which was still steaming as the object was changing colors from a red hot to an opaque glassy color. Due to the cooling the sphere now looked like a cheap bobble, except for its massive size.

The silence of the crowd slowly changed over to a murmur of questions, speculations, innuendos, anything but the truth. All sorts of ideas were tossed about like balls on a tennis court, and some sounded as fantastic as any story I could have written. “Was it a weapon from a foreign power? Or perhaps it’s something from the gods of old. Or maybe it’s just a fake object.” No one was sure but as the seconds passed the crowd’s fears gradually were overtaken by the natural twinges of curiosity, and from our position we could see some folks trying to get a closer look as others who attempted to venture into the water were detained by the Army troops who were surprised by their sudden duties, after only expecting to be on display in either parades or in the mock battles with Geronimo.

As the soldiers began to force back the encroaching onlookers, the sphere shifted a bit, and as it rolled to a dead stop a crack formed. This tiny fissure ran across the vessel like quicksilver, as everyone looked on in shock and soon horror took hold of all when the vessel fell apart and the vessel’s passenger came out. At first it looked as if there were a smaller vessel inside the first one, but much to our terror it wasn’t. The second crystal structure began to move with stiffness and groaning that could have paralleled Lazarus. A serpentine neck arched upwards with a head that could have belonged to the Hydra that Hercules slew. It stretched out four legs with a flaying tail in the rear, swiping back and forth slamming into whatever was unlucky enough to be in its path. It was round, smooth, and just like the vessel that brought it except this… whatever was alive, and very angry.

The Crystal Dinosaur (for lack of a better term) roared with the sound of a hundred exploding railroad engines come to life. The people did not have to be told what to do; as soon as the beast quaked with life the crowds began to run. In truth they panicked and the madness was equal to the destruction that was coming. The masses ran back towards our group, but we were moving as fast as we could towards the closest carriage, which was hard to catch considering the horses were justifiably panicky. We were able to stay ahead of the mass exodus, and able to load the ladies in and about to join them when the monster did something totally unexpected. From standing on one of the wheels I saw the creature pausing, inhale deeply, then exhaling a cloud of some sort. The cloud spread out and I could see the crowds closest to the beast dropping like flies, all the while screaming out in agony in levels I never thought possible.

As we watched, a couple of men tried to force their way onto our carriage and almost pulled Bess out, but before Houdini or any of us could act, our driver stood up, kicked one of the men in the stomach, while he used the horse whip on the other, the one who grabbed at Bess. Once he was down Houdini gave him a gut shot that took the wind out of his sails. I can’t blame Harry in the least. With Nikola in the front next to the driver, who we learned was a decent fella named William Donovan, and the rest of us riding in back in the carriage, we headed off the grounds for safety among the insanity. We went right for Ms. Barrett’s home since it was closer than the hotel was and we decided to leave the women there if Ms. Barrett was home; if not we’d leave them nearby. The three, now four of us realized we had to go back and help anyone there; it wasn’t a matter of choice. We had to go back and find out what was going on, and hopefully the Army had stopped the creature.

Luckily Ms. Barrett was home hosting a few guests in her parlor, but they had heard and seen the sphere streaking into the atmosphere, and she was happy to allow Livy and Bess to stay over until our return, but our wives were understandably not pleased with our decision to return. The moment Houdini and I said our goodbyes, we made similar promises we would come back.

By the time we reached the grounds there wasn’t any traffic about, foot or otherwise and we couldn’t understand where everyone had gone to. Surely the creature, whose bellowing roars we could still hear, couldn’t have killed everyone there. The horses were more than skittish and obviously showing better sense than us since they wanted to get out of the area like every other form of animal life had. Donovan tied the horses to a fence post and gently patted them down, trying to steady their nerves and calm them before joining us even though we implored him to leave us, but our new friend showed his true character when he told us he couldn’t leave us behind. One can only hope this new century is full of such men. From the sounds of the beast, we figured it had come ashore and was on the grounds, and we knew more people died. We knew we would have to defend ourselves, and Nikola led us to the Electrical Tower where we found some of the Expo goers had held up and were hiding. They told us the monster had stomped all over the grounds using its breath to kill whatever and wherever it could. We knew we had to stop it or at least make the attempt. The witnesses told us the Army attempted to stop it, but were unsuccessful.

Nikola led us to one of the displays Livy and I had been shown that afternoon, that possessed some very special arms, and inside we found some new types of rifle that fires bolts of electricity. Nikola explained they were meant to stun or shock the target without killing it. He calls the weapons “stun guns”, not a bad name if I do say so myself. After a fast explanation of how the guns operated, the four of us headed out of the Tower in search of the creature, despite the fact several people tried to keep us from going. We could see the Midway to the Court of the Fountains was clear, but when we reached the bandstands we came across one of the grizzliest sights imaginable. I am a skilled writer, but even I doubt I have the ability to convey the sheer nightmarish horror we saw when we came across some of the victims of the beast. Bodies were dissolving right before our eyes, and from the smell Nikola told us the beast’s cloud bursts had to be pure sulfuric acid. He knew the odor from his works but never imagined it could be used in such a way to destroy. The people in front of us were dead and the only thing we could do was pray for them and stop the creature from killing any more, but the sight of the dying Poles, Irish, Germans, Negroes, nationals and foreigners, young and old, men, women, and children will haunt me to my dying days.

As we crossed over and went around the dead towardsMirrorLakewe heard two things; first was a man at the Tower who was yelling for us to get inside, while waving us back. The second was the roar of the beast and it was coming closer. We saw its crystal, serpent-like neck peering over the Horticulture Building, and we could see it eyeing us. We moved quickly back towards the Tower as the beast inhaled deeply and started to give chase. One step that thundered was followed by another, and another, and another, and each shook the ground nearly causing us to fall. When it reached the bandstand, we were at the Tower entrance, and we could see it was about to exhale.

The young Mr. Donovan lined up a shot to cover the rest of us and instead of lead, a crackling blue/white energy exploded from the barrel. The beast howled out in pain when the shot hit its head, then it got a massive burst when the rest of us joined Donovan in firing at the beast. Fortunately it did not like the sensation and retreated back towards Park Lake. Once inside the Tower we met with the man who waved us back, and much to our surprise it was fellow author Arthur Conan Doyle.

Naturally I wanted to speak to the man about a great many things, but that would have to wait. He lead us past many of the same people we saw before, some who just saw us make our stand, and now they had a sense of hope after the monster’s retreat. As he led us past the lobby and the shell-shocked, Doyle explained that once the beast started attacking, people ran for any shelter they could find because those left outside were struck down by its acidic breath. He led us to a private elevator and explained he was sent to get us by some men upstairs who were trying to come up with attack plans, but could not agree on any one plan. Doyle went on to explain that after we left to protect the women, the Army, local police, and Expo security tried to stop the monster, but their standard rifles and side arms were like gnat stings against a rampaging elephant, and when the beast let out a second burst of its acidic breath, the defenders were killed instantly. When the elevator opened up a few floors below the beacon that was still dancing in the sky above us all, we found ourselves in a boardroom of some sorts that overlooked the grounds and the spot where we were just fighting the beast. They saw everything and saw that men would not give up without a fight. Inside the room we met one of the Exposition’s backers, a man who many considered to be a “robber baron” J.P. Morgan and much to my surprise and Nikola’s disgust Thomas Edison. As soon I realized who it was I thought the situation was tense enough and this would not help matters.

After the introductions were made, Morgan and Edison told us they witnessed our stand and were impressed, and they were wondering if Tesla’s rifles could kill the creature. The rifles were incapable of killing. I knew the very idea went against Nikola’s philosophies, but he explained that after seeing the beast first hand, he formed a theory that the rifles would hurt it, but to do any real damage we would have to penetrate its crystal hide. We would need something of incredible power that could continue to hammer through. It was here that Nikola hit his head with his hand when he realized what he called for should have been obvious. He explained the Tower’s light at the top could be converted into a source of energy he had been experimenting with. He claimed it would become a “death beam” right out of the science fiction genre. With help it could be converted, the only problem being he was unsure of the range, so the beast would have to be in front of the Tower. This meant someone would have to be the bait.Edisonhated to admit it but he agreed with his former partner’s theories and supported them. It was quickly decided Nikola, Edison, and Morgan would gather some of the men who were hiding with us, those who knew the equipment and would make the changes needed, while Houdini, Donovan, Doyle (who volunteered to aid us), and myself would draw out the invader. May fortune favor the foolish and the bold.

We realized we needed speed to outrun or circle the beast so after showing Doyle how to use the rifles; we acquired a few more exhibits from the Tower’s lobby. George Pierce’s 1901 Pierce Motorette carried myself and Doyle, while Houdini and Donovan rode out on a pair of 1900 motorized chainless bicycles. As our quirky safari headed out I could not help but think of Hank Morgan and the Knights of the Round Table coming to save him and Arthur Pendragon in my tale of a Connecticut Yankee.

Nikola told me afterwards, as soon as we left he and the others gathered all the men they could, and led them to the top of the Tower to convert the light into the most powerful weapon mankind has ever seen, and God willing would never be needed again after this night.

Nikola told us they would need ten minutes to make the proper changes whatever they were. Fortunately the Tower already had the equipment needed, so we figured we would distract the monster with a version of the children’s game of tag, where we would take turns getting the beast’s attention and then flee, ultimately drawing it towards the Tower. Breathing was getting difficult because of the amounts of acid that hung in the air, but we went on and found the beast near the Indian Mound, and after a moment’s silent prayer we opened fire at the neck (which looked like a weak point) and did little damage, but we got its undivided attention.

It howled out in pain, and was very mad. It began a raging charge and we retreated as fast as the vehicles could go. We split up with Doyle and I headed west towards the Elmwood Gates, and the others went northeast, but the beast came after us. Seeing this Donovan stopped and fired, hitting the beast in the tail, and in doing so drawing its rage. Suddenly it turned and went after them. It picked up speed and was determined to kill again. Doyle and I went north past the Indian Congress Building, trying to keep up. We could see the beast trying to reach our friends and we couldn’t reach the beast with our rifles from where we were, so we crossed the mall and saw the duo split up with Donovan coming towards us and Houdini headed north towards the stadium. The beast targeted Donovan and then us. Seeing this Houdini got into position, fired and hit the beast in its posterior. After another deafening roar it turned and charged after Houdini, smashing its way through the Agriculture Building in a desperate attempt to get him. We could see the beast inhaling knowing what it was planning, while the mage was swerving back and forth trying to confuse his pursuer, but it didn’t do any good. We could see the monster exhale its cloud destroying all in its wake. One moment we saw the magician outrunning it and the next the acidic cloud overtaking his bicycle. After that we could only see the monster standing amid its clouds at ground level and it was roaring celebration.

We could not tell if our friend was alive or dead, but we knew this monstrosity had to be stopped or there would be no telling how many would die in the city, let alone the world. Donovan ordered us to exit the Motorette and got in; he told us he might be able to buy us some time. Doyle and I took our rifles, and watched as Donovan built up sped and momentum then charged at the creature. He fired his weapon at the head, and seeing what he was doing we fired to help blind it from seeing Donovan’s charge. Just before he got too close Donovan leapt from the Motorette, rolled onto the ground as the vehicle slammed into the left front leg. Its bellowing roar was louder than before, so the exploding carriage did the trick. The thing’s head whipped back and forth in true agony, and finally it saw Donovan running towards us, and attempted to move as best it could, but there was a noticeable limp and we could see cracks in the leg at the point of impact. As Donovan reached us, Doyle and I fired at the head going for the eyes of the beast, as it crossed the grounds towards us preparing to belch out more acid. Donovan fired at the fresh wound which only enraged the monster more, and as it came closer to us we were preparing to run, then an amazing golden/orange light exploded from the Tower. The beam focused on the grounds and at the beast and stayed there. It pierced the side of the beast causing it to glow from the inside and out. From our position we could see the internal skeletal structure of it, and it seemed as if black obsidian was surrounded by the opaque crystal. The invader turned to face the new threat and tried to attack the Tower, but the energy beam kept on coming at it, destroying it from the inside out. Ultimately its organs must have finally given out because the beast gave out an agonizing death knell. It slumped to the ground and it tried to rise again but was unable to. Seeing the creature in this state gave me no joy, and in a sense I felt a touch of pity for it, but it had to be done for the greater good. With the energy beam continuing, the body glowed as bright as a summer’s sunset off Lake Erie and the remains cracked and splintered finally shattering into a million pieces.

The beam ended as we ran to the Tower and were greeted by Morgan, Tesla, and Edison who explained they kept an eye on us as best they could, and had made the final connections to the beacon just as the creature was coming at the three of us. The moment of celebration passed when Morgan asked about the whereabouts of Houdini. We told them what we knew, and went to find his body for Bess. We owed it to her, and to the world. As we were about to begin the grim search a miracle happened; from behind the Tower, a haggard and looking almost drowned Harry Houdini emerged from the shadows, as if he were walking out of the jaws of death once again. He explained as we gathered around him, that when the monster was on top of him, he drove his bicycle right into the Vencian Canals that surround the Expo Grounds. After his drive and dive, Houdini swam underwater till he reached the rear of the Tower almost as if he were performing a stage illusion.

A few hours later after reinforcements arrived, including military and government officials we were all debriefed and asked by certain agents, some men in black told us that someone special wanted to speak to the seven of us, since we were the major players in this game. We were brought to a small white and green wooden structure with glass windows on all sides, which was near a powerhouse. Inside we met with President Roosevelt, and essentially he asked us to not to speak about what happened. The officials would pass on the story that a methane gas explosion caused the problems at the Expo, killing a large number of people. We agreed when President Roosevelt told us after the assassination of President McKinley, he believed the country was enough on edge, but if the truth were known this could ensure a worldwide panic no society could handle.

It was here Nikola mentioned he may have been responsible for the attack. He once told me he could make radio waves reach the planets Mars and Venus, and this was not an idle boast. While he was conducting this sort of experiment in the past few days at the facility inNorth Bayon the Electric Fountain location, he thought it was appropriate with Venus being so close to Earth’s orbit the “whatever” may have come from there. Nikola’s theory was that someone or something sent the “Crystalsaurus” as it would be known, to Earth as a possible precursor to an invasion or to see where the radio wave originated from; either way President Roosevelt told us that “certain individuals” would be ready to handle any more “visitors”. I do know the guilt Nikola felt plagued him till his last days, I’d wager. We shut down his radio wave experiments and Nikola swore to never do this again, and hopefully this event would not happen again.

I found out the remains were to be buried under the foundation of the Albright Art Museum since it was still under construction; the officials felt it would be an appropriate hiding or burial place. The pieces were placed in bedrock and poured over with cement, but I know Edison and Tesla both were able to sneak away with a piece of the crystal body, due to their scientific curiosity, I gather. I found out Nikola believed the creature was a life form based on silicon not carbon like us. Fascinating theories from these minds. Well the survivors either agreed to go along with the gas explosion story, and certain pay offs were made to people or certain threats were made. I guess government business as usual, but I agree with why this was done.

Finally I was asked by President Roosevelt to make a record of these events for posterity, but maybe we need to forget, just in case. And for us seven life goes on back to normal, whatever that is.

—Samuel Clemens

Mark Twain

September 16, 1901

1901 Pan-Am Expo; Prologue

Posted in Personal Library on January 15, 2012 by cavillier

Hi all, I’m going to be posting a story I wrote a few years ago about events at the 1901 Pan-Am Expo that took place here in Buffalo, New York. Now before I get to ahead of myself let me explain some things;

  • This was a semester ending project for an English Lit class I took, and all the books had something to do with Buffalo, NY and it covered a number of different authors & subjects.
  • I wrote this story from the perspective of Mark Twain, as a first hand accounts of what happened and how he & six other extraordinary men save the city and the world. Of course this is fiction. Ha-Ha.
  • When I finished the story I went over the top and made my project look & feel like a lost Government report. I went so far as to get golden aged paper from Office Max, and when glued to a 3 clip folder, the folder looked and felt like a real folder. I didn’t have to do it, but wanted to, to add as a finishing touch. And it came out amazing. I wish I could post pics of it. I also made a ‘photograph’ of  the seven heroes, which was tough to fake considering I couldn’t find any pictures of William Donovan at 18 years old, but this still came out good.
  • When I was writing this story I did more research than almost anything else I wrote because I had to research the 1901 Pan-Am Expo, the seven men featured, the city of Buffalo at this point in history, the book City of Light, Nikola Tesla’s inventions, among other things I can’t remember. But one of the coolest things was I got to tour a small museum devoted completely to the Expo. What’s funny is my classmates didn’t take advantage of it, and then got really jealous when they found out I had the place to myself after calling and making arraignments.

Ok, that said I want to give a brief rundown of who’s who:

  1. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885),the latter often called “the Great American Novel.” I chose Twain for a number of reasons, one being that Twain has a strong connection to Buffalo, NY, having been a writer at the city’s newspaper, and having returned here many times. Second the man was a bit of an adventurer, having helped form the Marion Rangers during the Civil War. The irony of this, is I learned after my story was done Twain never attended the Expo.
  2. Nikola Tesla (Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Тесла; 10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer. He was an important contributor to the birth of commercial electricity, and is best known for developing the modern alternating current (AC) electrical supply system.Tesla’s patents and theoretical work also formed the basis of wireless communication and the radio. Tesla was responsible for the region getting electrical power from Niagara Falls. His Tesla Coils are still in use today.
  3. Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” (now Edison, New Jersey) by a newspaper reporter, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large teamwork to the process of invention, and therefore is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory. One of the most brilliant men of his generation, I felt Edison was a natural fit, despite the fact he and Tesla hated one another for real.
  4. John Pierpont Morgan (April 17, 1837 – March 31, 1913) was an American financier, banker and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time. In 1892 Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. After financing the creation of the Federal Steel Company he merged in 1901 with the Carnegie Steel Company and several other steel and iron businesses, including Consolidated Steel and Wire Company owned by William Edenborn, to form the United States Steel Corporation. Although not a major player in my story, J.P. Morgan fit well since he was a financial backer of the Expo in real life.
  5. Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered a milestone in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, historical novels and humours (‘Exploits of Brigadier E.Gerard’). Ok this was a stretch since I learned just recently that due to a major philosophical differences Doyle had a major falling out and hated …
  6. Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz, later Ehrich Weiss, a.k.a. Harry Weiss; March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) was a Hungarian-born American magician and escapologist, stunt performer, actor and film producer noted for his sensational escape acts. He was also a skeptic who set out to expose frauds purporting to be supernatural phenomena. I could not resist using Houdini. Some call him the world’s first superhero, some believe he was a spy for the British and American governments, and with his skill sets, I can believe it. And still there are those who think he really had some sort powers that allowed him to make his escapes. I don’t know about that, but he’s one of those historical persons that’s always fascinated me, and I always wanted to write about. Next time I’d love to write a book about or with the man. 
  7. William Joseph “Wild Bill” Donovan (January 1, 1883 – February 8, 1959) was a United States soldier, lawyer and intelligence officer. Donovan is best remembered as the wartime head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). He is also known as the “Father of American Intelligence” and the “Father of Central Intelligence.” Ok I know some may not know who Bill Donovan was but, he was a Buffalo native who is one native son we’re proud of. Being that he was 18 years old when the Expo was going on I figure he was another natural fit.

I also referenced a character in passing from City of Lights, which was an amazing read.  The story is set in the city of Buffalo, New York in 1901, as the Pan-American Exposition’s planning and construction is under way. The main character and narrator, Louisa Barrett, is headmistress of the Macaulay School for Girls, inspired by The Buffalo Seminary and is a very influential woman in a time of male predominance. The first major event in the book is the death of Karl Speyer, an engineering hero that designed the generators for the hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls. This causes a chain of events that leads Louisa to become involved in the struggle of the city’s hierarchy for control of Niagara. Although she wasn’t relevent to my story, I mentioned Barrett. Louisa Barrett is the 34-year-old headmistress of the Macaulay School for Girls.

So there it is; up next an Official Account of an event that never occurred according to the United States Government. Enjoy.

Christmas 2011; Part II

Posted in C.G. Eberle (Just call me Chris ;) ) on January 8, 2012 by cavillier

As promised here is the second of my Christmas gifts from 2011, but this half is what I like most, the gifts I gave out.  This has been the year in a while I’ve been able to afford to give gifts and in part I have to thank the folks at K-Mart. Silly I know, but if it weren’t for their lay away program I’d have  been screwed again. Of course I think a lot of folks this holiday season must feel the same way. So onto part two;

For Amy’s Grandmother Mimi, (a woman Dad and I love so much we worship the ground that’s coming to her. LOL Just Kidding) I got her a Hot Chocolate set. I know these things are everywhere and some might consider them lame, as a last-minute gift, but Mimi’s an older woman, who get cold easily. So I figured it was a good idea, especially since it was a nice big mug, with powdered hot chocolate, miniature marshmallows, and a peppermint candy cane I could use to mug someone with.

Next, for Herb & Ann (Amy’s folks) I went in with my folks and we got them a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

For Amy’s cousin Amanda I picked up a gift card to Target since she got a new apartment, and a pair of holiday slipper/socks.

Amy got a similar pair of slipper/socks and a dvd copy of The Help.  I admit Amy was the hardest to shop and had to pick Mom’s and Ann’s brains for some decent ideas. This is only because to an extent I’m not familiar with all the lady’s likes & dislikes.

Dad got a pair of new dress shirts. He already has plenty, but these are bit more in style/colors I wear. Black with some light blue/grayish stripes & a dark gray with stripping.

My brother Mike would up with some lounge ware. I figured he’d appreciate something some Buffalo Sabres fleece bottoms, a thermal Sabres top, and what was a gag gift he appreciated, a pair of holiday boxers, with snowballs all over. And you can make up your own jokes here sports fans.

I gave my Mom a pair of books, James Patterson’s Kill Alex Cross and Regis Philbin’s How I Got This Way.  She’s already done with them. How she can ready so quickly and retain anything I’ll never understand.

 

 

Finally I got my nephew Evan some toys we’re keeping in my apartment, cause he doesn’t have anything here. Mike wanted to get Evan off some baby/girly toys and I agree so I got Evan three of new Transformers Rescue Bots. These are Transformers meant for 3-6 year olds. I also picked up their human partners with the rescue tools, that transform to equipment the Autobots can hold.

Well that’s it for my Christmas Lists of 2011. Like I said it was a better holiday season for me this year since I was able to give more than I have in the past few years. I’m hoping this is the start to a better year than I’ve had for the past few. If you want to share what you handed out to friends & family, or what Santa left for you I’d love to hear it, or any holiday stories you’d care to share, so leave a comment. All the best till next time, Chris

Christmas 2011; Part I

Posted in C.G. Eberle (Just call me Chris ;) ) on December 31, 2011 by cavillier

Hi Everyone,

Sorry I’ve been kinda busy between working at Barnes & Noble till this week, and handling the holidays like everyone else. But now that the job’s over and I have a few quiet moments, I thought I’d share this year’s holiday with everyone. I’m doing this partly because I am trying to keep up on my blog, and it’s been a few weeks since I wrote anything. Secondly, I’ve been full of Christmas spirit since this is the first year in a while I’ve been able to get gifts for my family. The last few years I’ve haven’t been able to and when everyone is exchanging gifts, and I have nothing to hand out, I feel like SHIT! So basically I’ve stayed apart from everyone and would stay away. Finally I got the idea for this blog after seeing a story on Good Morning America about a trend of people posting videos on sites like You Tube showing off their Christmas/ Haunakah gifts and showing they’re using/wearing them. It’s become a recent trend in this modern age. So I thought why not talk about my gifts. And away we go…

  1.  From my brother Mike & sister-in-law Amy they gave me a SodaStream Home Soda Maker Set. I just started using it today and this is awesome. They’ve had one for years, and I finally started drinking diet pop this year and have been buying Diet Pepsi & Diet Mt.Dew like crazy, but this is going to save me money. Now I have to say I’m going to have to get used to the taste but it didnt take me long to get used to taste difference between Pepsi & Diet, especailly with lime, cherry & my favorite, VANILLIA!!! 🙂 The nice thing is I can add my own vanillia & lime juice.  There’s a benefit of saving money; a bottle (16.9 ozs) of 15 different flavors makes about 50 servings or 33 cans of pop. Another thing I like is I can take the carbonator back to Bed. Bath & Beyond for exchanging the canister at a discount.

Next from Amy’s parents, Herb & Ann, and her grandmother Mimi, came some home made Orange Sponge Candy, and gift cards from Noco. Believe me these come in handy, especially with gas prices the way they are.

Finally my last two gifts came from my folks, and the one they’ve been saying  they been wanting to get me for a couple years.  Its a brand new office chair, and I admit it’s a damn sight better than my last one.  The old one wore out after almost eight years of use, which couldnt support any weight at the upper levels, and whenever I rolled around or got up from it you could hear me through the floor. Now this new chair  is padded, has a full back, nice arms, and I can stretch out my legs. Remember I’m 6’2″, the old one had me so low to the floor I looked like I was doing a Russian dance.

The second gift was a movie, one I’ve been more than aquianted with since the last week of September, and something my folks are thrilled with for me, Angels & Demons. Back in September I was watching The DaVinci Code, and I can’t explain it, but as I got to the end I felt something change in me. My faith was renewed and I’ve been going back to church since. I’ve talked about this issue in an earlier blog, so I dont need to get into here, but if someone wants to talk about it reach out to me and I’ll be happy to.

 The funny thing is my folks told me they also tried to find DaVinci at the same store where they got A&D, a store I shopped at a few days before and saw it there. Now they said theycouldn’t find it anywhere, and had a guy who works at the store help look for it. Here’s the funny part; Christmas Day Mike gave me almost $10.00 in empty bottles & cans, and when I realized this I thought I’d go check at the store. I found DaVinci 1-2-3 up & easy. 😉 So I bought myself a Christmas gift thanks to Mike. Now I can’t wait for The Lost Symbol.

Well this is part one, I’ll be posting part two, (what I gave) in a day or two. Until then I wish everyone a peacefull, wonderful and Happy New Year. And if you want to reach out to me feel free to email me at Cavillier1970@Yahoo.com or check out my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=575634542

Open Thank-You Letter

Posted in C.G. Eberle (Just call me Chris ;) ), Uncategorized on December 12, 2011 by cavillier

This is an open letter to everyone who has ordered a copy of Family Ties for their Nooks or Kindles.

Dear Readers,

I want to take this time to personally thank you for buying my first mystery. I really hope you enjoyed it and please feel free to share your opinions about with me. You can reach out to me here or email directly. I will answer all queries, questions, and comments. As a matter I welcome and look forward to any fan mail. And if you know me personally, you don’t have to worry about offending me. The way I look at things, I see all criticism as constructive. Ever since I took my first creative writing class at Erie Community College, I took all the opinions and commentaries as a way to improve my writing, whether it was poetry or fiction.  So please let me know what you think.

Now I realize that there are a number of areas I need help in, areas I’m not strong in and that’s one of the reasons I’ve been a member of Yahoo’s Mystery Writers Critique Group for a number of years now. This is a good group of talented writers whose goals are simple; we help one another with each others’ works and are there to lend moral support for those times when we need it.  Even though I havent met any of these men & women in person I consider them friends. I know how that sounds to a degree, but it’s a bit different from gamers who have friends online. In our case we are helpful, beneficial, and supportive of one another. I admit fully I’d love to meet these folks, if circumstances allow, but for now our emailing will have to do.  Although folks have come and gone, there’s a strong core of help I’ve gotten from Nichole, Rosie, Rayanne, Annette, Linda, Mike, Henya, and Donnell. I’ve gotten advice, and suggestions from them all and put in what worked and have done the same for them all. What’s interesting is reading all these different styles; for example Roise, a lady from the South, writes historical mysteries set in areas like Georgia after the Civil War or in World War One, and Nichole a wife & mother from South Dakota, writes a Native American paranormal mystery series. Her first Ghost Mountain came out last year and I can say it’s a page turner.  I think we have the same goals; to be taken seriously as writers, to be respected, and if possible be one of the lucky ones who do what we love for a career, and not have to do a job we hate for a paycheck.

This weekend I seem to have my writing spark re-ignited thanks in part to a History Channel special I saw yesterday about Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons being dissected. Thanks to this, I got a new idea for a character and I’m forming some ideas. But in the meantime I have plenty to do; finish polishing my second John Seraph mystery, Family Plots, which takes place eight months after the events of Family Ties, and John’s in even more danger than last time.

The other part that seems to have resurrected my personal Phoenix, was that I received my first royalty check from Amazon for the copies of Family Ties. It’s silly I know, but it’s something important, at least to me. I once heard the difference between a writer and an author is, a writer writes, an author gets paid for writing.  It was a small amount, less than $14.00, but the fact I received it proved I know I made it. That I’m a real writer, and I know I’m good at what I do, and like to do it. I have to remind myself  a lot, that with all the shit that’s out there on T.V., in the movies, or music, and that gets published, that all sucks, I know there has to be a place for my stuff out there. Guess I should remind myself a little more.

See I havent had the spark to write or do anything since July, when I was let go from Blockbuster when my store closed. Now two weeks ago I was hired at Barnes  & Noble as a cashier, and I admit I get the feeling I’m only seasonal, and a couple of co-workers rub me the wrong way, but it’s better than nothing and I feel like doing some real work now, my kind of work.

Well I just want to thank you readers again, it really means a lot to me that you took the time, and spent your money to take a chance on me. I can’t tell you what that means. I wish I could thank everyone personally.

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or criticisms please drop me a line here or email me at Cavillier1970@Yahoo.com or my Facebook page; http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=575634542. I’m happy to respond to everyone who writes me.

All the best & Happy Holidays to one & all,

Chris a.k.a. C.G.Eberle

P.S.; 

Nichole Bennett’s webpage is http://nicholerbennett.com/index.html, check it out and take a look at                    Ghost Mountain. Well worth the read.

Ron Voigts’ webpage is http://rondvoigts.blogspot.com/

Margi Desmond’s webpage is http://margidesmond.com/

Mystery Writers Critique Group is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Mystery-Writers-Critique-Group/

Be sure to heck them all out and tell them I sent you.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/family-ties-cg-eberle/1101135827?ean=2940012412683&itm=2&USRI=family+ties&

http://www.amazon.com/Family-Ties-John-Seraph-ebook/dp/B0051108Y6/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1305574251&sr=1-18

A Different Look At Horror (The Finale; Pt.6. Remakes)

Posted in A Different Look At Horror on November 18, 2011 by cavillier

I called this series of blog ‘A Different Look at Horror’ because to quote my Mother, I don’t look outside the box, I live outside it. Essentially I don’t see things the way most folks do. Some think I’m a bit off, others think I fell to hard on my head down a staircase when I was a lot younger, and there are those who think I should be in a home somewhere. That said, I’ve been writing these blogs to share my perspective on horror movies and bring to light what I’ve seen and thought about them. Now I know I may not share everyone’s opinion, hell I’ve been known to piss off mobs of people with my opinions on occasion. Yesterday I picked up at K-Mart a DVD set of four movies for $9.99;Ocean’s Eleven (the original starring the Rat Pack), Ocean’s 11, Ocean’s 12, & Ocean’s 13. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

I mention my recent addition because I find the timing funny, with my final look at horror movies being remakes.  Personally I’ve never cared much for remakes, my distaste for the concept comes from the fact I like to write. Whether or not I make it as a writer and reach the best seller’s list I don’t know, but the whole idea of remakes generally bothers me because to me it always seems like movie writers get lazy and rewrite movies that have been done. Now I fully admit there are a number of cases where I’ve actually liked the remakes more than the originals, because the writing has improved the basic stories. Some of these examples are 3:10 to Yuma, Mask of Zorro, & To Be Or Not To Be. (Of course whenever Mel Brooks makes fun of Adolph Hitler it’s always funny.)

In researching this aspect of horror movies, I already knew about some of the bigger remakes that popped up over some the past few years, like Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, Fright Night, and The Thing. What surprised me is how many horror movies have been remade over the decades, some better than the originals, some worse, and still some neither version should have been made.

To me remakes almost come off as a lack of imagination, and creativity by people who are paid to have it. Hell I’d kill to have a job as a writer, even a movie writer. It seems with the most recent trends in horror are nowadays splatter gore, relying on shock and awe not building suspense like going uphill on a roller coaster. A prime example of this trade is Halloween and Rob Zombie’s Halloween. In the original, director John Carpenter used lighting to help set and create atmosphere throughout the picture, this was different from most slasher flicks because with them fans saw everything in gory detail, unlike the original Halloween . Here  the only blood seen is at the very beginning when Michael kills his sister 15-year-old sister Judith, through his 6-year-old eyes. There are four other murders, two girls are strangled, a teenager is stabbed, but it takes place in the dark and all we see are silhouettes, and a trucker is killed off camera. This lack of gore, almost parallels Alfred Hitchcock and how he directed Psycho. In both cases at times moviegoers are forced to use their imaginations. For example in Psycho, during the shower scene we hear the knife stabs and slashes into Marion Crane. There are flashes of movement, flashes of Marion, the water coming down, and of course flashes of ‘Mrs. Bates’. Not once do we see the knife enter her body. I always felt Carpenter drew inspiration from Hitchcock and arguably his most famous movie.   In Halloween, Carpenter pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock with two characters’ names; Tommy Doyle is named after Lt. Det. Thomas J. Doyle (Wendell Corey) of Rear Window (1954), and Dr. Loomis’ name was taken from Sam Loomis (John Gavin) of Psycho, the boyfriend of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh, who is the real-life mother of Jamie Lee Curtis). Sheriff Leigh Brackett shared the name of a film screenwriter. [1]

By contrast Halloween (2007) was an orgy of sex, violence, and gore. Essentially director Rob Zombie took the original story and injected horse steroids into it. Now I must admit when they announced the movie and I saw the trailers I was psyched. I couldn’t wait to see it. I know how that sounds considering what I said about remakes, but I thought the idea had merit because Zombie just didn’t direct, he wrote the script. What had me hooked by the writing was how Zombie didn’t go 0-60 like Carpenter did, starting off with the murder. Zombie wrote in a legitimate back story and viewers see the numberous factors that turn Michael Myers into a killing machine. We never get this in the original movie or its sequel. To me this is one of those rare occasion where I liked the remake, but I can’t say it was as good as the original. I feel Zombie’s over-the-top use of sex and violence takes away from the almost legendary horror story. The whole thing reminds me of the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Like I mentioned I do research for my blogs that need some factual support and are different from anything that is me just talking about whatever I’m venting about. In checking out horror film remakes I admit I was amazed at the numbers. Besides the ones I mentioned earlier there has been The Amityville Horror, April Fool’s Day, Black Christmas, The Blob, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Cat People, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, The Fly, The Fog, Fright Night, House of Wax, The Hitcher, I Spit on Your Grave, Last House on the Left, Night of the Living Dead, Nightmare on Elm St., Prom Night, The Stepfather, and When a Stranger Calls.  Here we run the gambit of all sub-genres of horror, and there are even more remakes out there. Now I can understand to an extent of why, but for me the question of ‘Should we?’ always comes up. It seems there’s been a trade-off: suspense & terror for gore & excessive violence. Maybe it’s me, but I think movie fans were better off with before Hollywood dove in head first with the gory side of things.

One of the best examples of this was Black Christmas, the first done in 1974, then re-made in 2006. The plots are similar but separate at a major fork in the road. In the original a group of college students who must face a deranged serial killer lurking in their sorority house. I saw the movie last December for the first time on Turner Classic Movies, and it was interesting to watch because there we don’t know who the killer was or why he was going after these girls. One early scene shows the killer asphyxiating one of the students with plastic sheeting over her head. He carries her dead body to the attic and places it in a rocking chair next to the attic window and puts a doll in her lap. She’s there throughout the whole picture, and the movie ends the audience is shown the attic, with the body still in the rocker  undisturbed.  We never get a full explanation and on some levels it feels unresolved, but it leaves an impact on audiences.  Keith H. Brown of Eye for Film gave the film a positive review, stating that, “Like Carpenter, Clark avoids graphic gore, focusing instead on suggestion and using careful mise-en-scene, editing and use of music to build suspense.”[2]

By contrast the 2006 version, which I saw about a year a half ago the story was changed up a lot.

Billy Edward Lenz, a boy born with a rare medical condition that makes his skin yellow, is constantly abused and hated by Mrs. Lenz. Setting her eyes on another man, she kills her husband, and buries his body in the underground crawl space under the house. When Billy is seen witnessing this, she locks him in the attic. When Mrs. Lenz tries to conceive a new baby with her new man, she realises he is impotent, and goes up to the attic and rapes Billy. Soon, Agnes  is born, who is loved by her new family. On a Christmas Eve, Billy snaps, escaping, disfiguring Agnes, and gruesomely kills his mother and her new husband. He then proceeds to make cookies out of his mother’s flesh. He is caught, and is sent to a mental asylum. On Christmas Eve 2006, Billy escapes from his cell after killing the security guard, butchers a man in a Santa Claus costume, and disguises himself in the costume to escape. [3] Eventually Billy makes it to his former home, which is now a sorority house, and begins killing the girls. This version like a lot of these movies nowadays relies on an over indulgence of gore, and plot twists. 

I find it ironic that the ’74 version, which was made for a budget of $620,000, raked in $4,053,000, and has gained a fairly decent cult following throughout the years after its release. The Black Christmas fan site considerably increased the film’s modern popularity. The film is notable for being one of the first slasher films and inspiring films such as Friday the 13th and John Carpenter’s Halloween. The film ranked #87 on Bravo’s The 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Steve Martin met Olivia Hussey at the premier of his movie Roxanne and he said she was in one of his favourite movies of all time. Hussey initially thought he was referring to Romeo and Juliet, but was surprised when Martin said it was Black Christmas, and that he had seen the film 27 times.[2] 

It seems as if this is now standard operating procedure for horror remakes. Somewhere in Hollywood, some big-shots got it into their heads that for a horror movie to succeed today it has to be as grisly as a rectial exam with a chainsaw and a hedge trimmer. Now I’m not saying that horror movies shouldnt have blood and guts. Violence is needed in these cases, but I think there can be a balance between what’s needed and the excesses we’ve been forced to deal with. I think the film makers of the 70s & 80s may have had it a bit harder than the modern directors and effects people. Not CGI, no computer aides, no 21st Century tech assisting them. They had to rely on good old-fashioned movie making skills and in a lot of cases creativity for everything from FX, to promotion, to good story telling. I think in some cases this can be done, and has been done well. The original Saw and Frailtiy have shown excellent story telling with a fair amount of violence and blood. I can only hope current and future writers and film makers stop and think for a moment before doing a remake and consider the points I’ve talked about.

Well that’s it horror fans the wrap up to my look at horror movie 2011. Sorry it took longer than planned and I know next week is Thanksgiving, but in all fairness, I didn’t get the idea or start the look at horror until a week before Halloween. I have to thank in part a friend of mine, Blake Petit for giving me the inspiration to write the series. Blake has his own blog; http://blakemp.wordpress.com/. If you want a good read check it out.  Thanks everyone, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_(1978_film)#Influence

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Christmas_(1974_film)

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Christmas_(2006_film)

A Different Look At Horror (Pt 5; New School vs. Old School)

Posted in A Different Look At Horror on November 13, 2011 by cavillier

Ok Halloween’s past for another year, but like I said I’m going to finish up my look at horror movies. After this I’ll have one more to go. This time as the title says, Old School Horror versus the New School. Now when I say Old School, I’m only going back as far as the 1970’s. I decided to limit myself to my lifespan, otherwise if I talked all about the Old School of Horror movies I could start all over again with the silent era, from Europe, and I sure don’t want to do that. So I’m going to start with the era I know best. So here goes…

OLD SCHOOL;

I know I said I was planning on staring in the 1970’s, but I honestly think to take a look at the Old Vs. New schools of thought I believe one has to go back ten years before I was born to 1960 and look at a movie that shook the world and made women think twice about showering.

 We know the story: secretary, Marion Crane, hiding at a secluded motel after embezzling money from her employer, and the motel’s disturbed owner and manager, Norman Bates, and the aftermath of their encounter. 

The movie is considered a classic and an esstianally by many, and rightfully so. In 1992, the film was selected to be preserved by the Library of Congress at the National Film Registry, all due to the man behind the camera, Alfred Hitchcock, who was a genius when it came to this movie, and all his work and thought behind the scenes made this arguably his greatest picture. Peggy Robertson, Hitchcock’s production assistant, read a positive review of  Robert Bloch novel Psycho is based loosely on the case of convicted Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein, and decided to show the book to Hitchcock, even though readers at Hitchcock’s home studio Paramount Pictures rejected its premise for a film. Hitchcock acquired rights to the novel for $9,500, and reportedly ordered Robertson to buy up copies to keep the novel’s surprises for the film. [1]

One of the things that lead to the stellar success of Psycho was Hitchcock’s promotion of the movie. He forbid Leigh and Perkins to make the usual television, radio, and print interviews for fear of their revealing the plot. Even critics were not given private screenings but rather had to see the film with the general public, which, despite possibly affecting their reviews, certainly preserved the plot. The film’s original trailer features a jovial Hitchcock taking the viewer on a tour of the set, and almost giving away plot details before stopping himself. It is “tracked” with Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho theme, and the  most controversial move was Hitchcock’s “no late admission” policy for the film, which was unusual for the time. Hitchcock thought that if people entered the theater late and never saw the star actress Janet Leigh, they would feel cheated. At first theater owners opposed the idea, claiming that they would lose business. However, after the first day, the owners enjoyed long lines of people waiting to see the film. [1]

What’s funny is if a director or producer did some of these things, it’d be like shooting themselves in a foot and hurting their movies chances, but Hitchcock had the opposite effect. All these actions led to the success of the movie. I have the feeling if the man hadn’t done these marketing effects not only would Psycho not have been as success it was, but we wouldn’t have the modern virtual tie ins we have with New School horror. The man was an influence on directors like Brian De Palma, Francois Truffaut, Steven Spielberg, Joe Lipari, Martin Scorsese, Claude Chabrol, Robert Zemeckis, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Dario Argento, Jonathan Demme, Tim Burton just to name a few. I can’t even imagine how many film students we have these days who draw inspiration from ‘Hitch’ but his impact is still felt in the cinema more than 20 years after his death. Even his name has become a way to describe certain movies. Hitchcockian is a general term used to describe film styles and themes similar to those of Alfred Hitchcock’s films.

Now when I think of the “Old School” of horror I tend to think of the movies that have been defined as the ‘Slasher’ flicks, and some I talked about before.

Not long after Psycho we hade at the time, a new breed of horror movies, and I’d argue most in one way or another drew inspiration from Hitchcock, but that’s where the similarities end. Most of these newer horror classics seemed to be a cornucopia of sex, violence and drug use. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre also drew inspiration from the same source Hitchcock did. The movie’s plot is entirely fictional, however the character of Leatherface and minor plot details were inspired by the crimes of real-life murderer Ed Gein. The Massacre has gained a reputation as one of the most influential horror films in cinema history. It is credited with originating several elements common in the slasher genre, including the use of power tools as murder weapons and the characterization of the killer as a large, hulking, faceless figure.

Now I’ve got to be 100% honest here, I never saw the T.C.M. It wasn’t something I was really into and it never caught my interest enough to put in the 2 hours to sit through it. For me it seemed a little over-the-top; we have a family of cabalistic, inbred lunatics. I have seen bits & pieces and there was one thing that stayed with me was a scene where one of the girls enters the house and finds the house filled with furniture made from human bones. She attempts to flee, but Leatherface catches her and impales her on a meat hook.  Now I understand a major aspect of slasher movies is women being victimized and  was the start of the modern exploitation films in which female protagonists are subjected to brutal, sadistic violence. This seemed to start a trend of these victimizing women and I think in a majority of cases these movies were made just to fulfill some warped film makers’ vision of butchering women, who may or may not remind him of a girl he wanted to date and snubbed him badly. I admit fully as a movie fan this has happened with me, when I saw  Sorority Row. I knew girls like these in grade school, high school, college, and in almost everywhere I’ve worked and seeing rich-bitch girls who think they’re better than everyone else getting butchered like sheep was amazingly gratifying. Before I go further I don’t anyone to get the wrong idea about me, but I think this was a harmless fantasy to see justice served.

During the 1970s there was an explosion of these types of slasher flicks where there’s one girl, a final survivor and she’s the one who stops the killer. It almost seems to be a mythological epic kind of odyssey. Then the whole idea became not only formulaic, but repeated and beyond ridiculous.  I talked about these movies already, so I’m not going to going to in-depth about them but it seemed horror movies throughout the 1980s followed the same patterns and fell into a formulaic quagmire; we have an isolated location, we have some sort of bogie man who’s a myth of sorts, we have a group of teens looking for the same things they’ve always looked for: booze, drugs, & great sex (the last I have no problem with LOL), and once they start partying all hell breaks loose. Finally for some reason, almost myth-like it’s always a woman who is the sole survivor and is the one to kill the monster. She’s pure, nice girl from next door, who doesn’t drink or party and its her friends who are whooping it up that get slaughtered. We have Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis/Scout Taylor-Compton) who are forced to deal with mass murdered Michael Myers in the Halloween movies. Halloween had many imitators and originated several clichés found in low-budget horror films of the 1980s and 1990s. Unlike many of its imitators, Halloween contains little graphic violence and gore. In 2006, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.[4]

In Friday the 13th (1980) we have Alice (Adrienne King) , a camp councilor who is working to fix up Camp Crystal Lake with he friends and one-by-one they get butchered and Alice ends up decapitating Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer). Although Alice returns in Friday the 13th Part 2 Alice, the only survivor of a murder rampage at Crystal Lake, is brutally murdered when an adult Jason Voorhees stabs her in the head with an ice pick after she discovers the severed head of Pamela Voorhees in her refrigerator. Jason did not drown in the lake as Pamela believed, and had witnessed her death. The act drove Jason out of hiding in the nearby forest to kill his mother’s killer and anyone who crosses his path. In the second and third F13ths it’s a girl who ‘stops’ Jason, then in the Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, where 12-year-old Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman) hacks apart Jason’s head. Now frankly I always felt the series should have gone 4 and out, but the movie makers kept on pushing things and Jason returned and the franchise, like most of these movies go from seeing the victims were cheering for, trying to survive to cheering for the killing wondering how they’ll kill the next victim, because Hollywood writers got it into their heads stabbing someone with a 6″ butcher knife wasnt visually exciting anymore.

These trends seem to go on for a while then in 1984 Wes Craven serves up  A Nightmare on Elm Street, which I admit when I first saw it I was 14 years old and it scared the hell out of me. Here Craven rewrote the rule book for slasher movies and the killer. He didn’t have a silent, knife wielding killer who couldn’t be stopped. In Freddy Kruger, we have  a child murderer who killed at least twenty children in the late 1960s. After he was arrested, he was released from prison on a technicality due to an improperly filled out search warrant. Furious, vengeful parents tracked him down and burned him alive in his abandoned boiler room hideout. Now, it appears that he is manipulating the dreams of their children to exact his revenge on the parents who killed him from beyond the grave. Kruger isn’t silent, he jokes, laughs, and taunts his victims and is a way reminds me of Batman’s enemy, the Joker. They both derive so much sick pleasure from tormenting their victims, before going in for the kill. In a way I think Craven was onto something with creating Freddy Kruger; during the 1980’s there seemed to be a trend in movies, music, t.v., even comic books, society seemed to be dwelling into a darker, more violent and sicker aspects that were ignored before.  Two themes of the Nightmare series was the loss of innocence and the American suburbs. Freddy exclusively attacks teenagers and his actions have been interpreted as symbolic of the often traumatic experiences of adolescence.[2]Nancy, like the archetypal teenager, experiences social anxiety and her relationships with her parents become very strained. Sexuality is present in Freudian images and is almost exclusively displayed in a threatening and mysterious context.  The movie has been described as a reaction to the growing trend of families moving to suburbs and the perceived innocence of American suburbs.[3] Parents in the film’s fictional suburb of Springwood, Ohio kill Krueger and hide his existence in an attempt to make a safe environment for their children, but they still cannot protect their kids.

Although there were sequels, and similar movies, some old school monsters were brought back and splatter and gore came back I never came across anything fresh or original until 1999, and this was the start of what I call the New School.

NEW SCHOOL;

In 1999 the world had one mother of a joke played on it,that I always argued equaled the uproar caused by Orson Wells’ radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds. The Blair Witch Project wrote and directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, and relates the story of three student filmmakers (Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael C. Williams) who hiked into the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland in 1994 to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch, and disappeared. The viewers are told that the three were never seen or heard from again, although their video and sound equipment (along with most of the footage they shot) was discovered a year later. This “recovered footage” is presented as the film the viewer is watching. [5]  Before the movie debuted the company produced a number of media tie ins, including using the internet to help promote the idea the story was real. And I admit I was among those who believed the hype. One of the things done was  “The Curse of the Blair Witch”, which is a mockumentary produced for airing on The Sci-Fi Channel as a promotional prelude to the release of The Blair Witch Project. Now when it premiered I was working and by the time I got home I was late catching it and they never posted any disclaimers, so I bought the whole thing. The thing I find most amazing about Blair Witch is here’s a indy movie, with a budget reported somewhere between $20,000 to $25,000 and $500,000 and $750,000, and it grossed $248,639,099. How’s that for mind-blowing numbers? Before when I was talking about Alfred Hitchcock’s promotion of Psycho, I mentioned I have a theory that some of the things he did inspired today’s film makers, for pushing their movies. Now with The Blair Witch Project, Saw, and Cloverfield all using the internet for virtual tie-ins it shouldnt be surprising the new school of horror is re-inventing the game. I can’t even imagine how or what things Hitchcock could have cooked up for using the net to promote his movies. But  I’m sure it would have been mind-blowing had he been able to do it.

With this New Breed of horror the main thing I’ve seen is fresh, new ideas. Instead of the masked maniac, slashing and gutting, we have original stories that scare today’s audiences that have seen and in some cases are tired of the Freddies and Jasons.  First, thanks to Blair Witch, we have the found footage horror genre, and after Blair Witch Hollywood jumped on the idea like a pack of dogs on a three-legged cat.  Found footage is a genre of filmmaking, especially horror, in which all or a substantial part of a film is presented as discovered film or video recordings, often left behind by missing or dead protagonists. The events onscreen are seen through the camera of one or more of the characters involved, who often speaks offscreen. Filming may be done by the actors themselves as they recite their lines, and shaky camerawork is often employed for realism. [6] The one downside to the Found Footage genre is for every Cloverfield, and Paranormal Activity there has been a slew of badly made and poorly written movies. Having worked at Blockbuster for almost the past three years I saw a number of these movie and regretted it.

Secondly and more encouraging are original and fresh ideas writers have come up with to scare audiences. Among these have been Cabin Fever, Descent, Saw, and Frailty. Here writers have coming up some amazing ideas and twists  endings which hook fans, and can leave fans feeling like their minds have been blown away and they’ve been taken for a helluva ride. 

Unfortunately with this new breed one franchise seems to have fallen into the same trap the Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween franchises have. Saw was a mind-blowing horror movie, with one of the best twist endings I’ve seen and when you strike gold your first time out of the shoot, you’ll want to do it again. So the powers that be gave the green light to a second, and a third, and fourth, going all the way to a seventh, which allegedly is the final Saw film. In the original there was a great horror story; Adam (Leigh Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes), two men who are chained in a dilapidated subterranean bathroom and are each given instructions via a microcassette recorder on how to escape. Adam is told he must escape the bathroom, while Lawrence is told to kill him before a certain time, or Lawrence’s family will die. Meanwhile, police detectives investigate and attempt to apprehend the mastermind behind the “game”.

After the original film the movies seemed to explode in an orgy of exploitative violence and torture, which seems to have been picked up by Eli Roth’s Hostel series, reminds me of when during the 80s the way things got heavier, darker with movies, t.v., etc as I mentioned before.

Well that’s it for Part 5, there’s one to go. In my final look at horror movies I go talk about the good, the bad and certainly the ugly and something that is a pet peeve for me, remakes.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psycho_(film)

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightmare_on_Elm_Street#Loss_of_innocence

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightmare_on_Elm_Street#American_suburbs

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_(1978_film)

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blair_Witch_Project

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Found_footage_(genre)

A Different Look at Horror (Pt 4; Satanic Movies)

Posted in A Different Look At Horror on November 5, 2011 by cavillier

  Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven” John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Line 263  Ok, I admit this is one blog I’m having some problems with, I never cared much for much for these movies about the Devil possessing someone, or the “Son of Satan” comes to Earth to lead the dark forces and all that jazz. I never had a taste for this stuff growing up, but after I got into college and I read Paradise Lost I got a whole new perspective on Satan. Now before I go on I should explain I was raised Roman Catholic, then when questions & doubts became the norm I fell aside and stopped going for a long time. Then about five weeks ago I was watching a movie on T.V. and my faith was fully restored. The movie was The DaVinci Code. I talked about this issue before in an earlier blog and find the matter ironic since a lot of religious people have problems with this movie, and subject matter.

Now before I go into these movies I must say, I do personally believe in God, Jesus Christ, the Saints in Heaven above, and Satan all exist. But I also believe in the Great Spirit, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Shinto as well. I believe all are connected and we’re not meant to know everything at our current state. But that’s a discussion for another time. What I also believe, when God created the Heavens and Earth, he (she or it) knew what Satan would do, making his power play, and was already destined to fail. Also Satan would fulfill his destiny as a ruler. I don’t see Satan as the evil demon we’ve come to think of him as thanks to Hollywood and the overly zealous, religious out there. Actually I see him as the angel he was, who went on to rule Hell, and ensure the world was safe from the worst of the worst. I see Satan as a prison warden who got what he wanted, to rule, and making sure the damned pay for their sins.  I do believe in evil existing in the world, I know this is a fact of life.  The first I realized evil truly walks among us, almost as if it were a living entity was in 1988. In 1988, I was a junior in high school and there was a ton of media coverage and books published about the one-hundred year anniversary of the Jack the Ripper murders and a book I bought on the subject had a number of photos. One of these pictures was of the fifth victim, Mary Kelly. It was taken in her home, and it is more brutal than anything I’ve seen Hollywood produce. From stories I’ve heard the official police photograph doesnt sum up the sheer graphic horror laid out at the scene.  The close up of her face I’ve seen I beleive shows the evil Mary Kelly faced in her last moments. After seeing this I can not believe that the actual killer is in Heaven. Anyone who is capable of not just murder, but committing five of the most brutal murders in history, and not being caught is truly evil. That all said, onto the subject at hand.

Despite my personal beliefs, I do believe that there have been legitimate cases of demonic possession, but I doubt it was Satan who was doing the possessing. When I was in high school, one of my religious teachers, Fr. Joe played a tape he got sent to him from a friend in the Church. On the cassette was the recording of the actual, real life exorcism that was the basis for the book and the movie The Exorcist.

Now I am being 100% honest about this and I swear on all that’s Holy and my nephew Evan, what I heard was the truth. What the boy was spewing out was one of the un-holiest sounds I’ve ever heard. Compared to that, it makes anything Hollywood produces look like Disneyland.  From my research I found the following; ”

Aspects of the novel were inspired by an exorcism performed by the Jesuit priest, Fr. William S. Bowdern, who formerly taught at both St. Louis University and St. Louis University High School. Recent investigative research by freelance journalist Mark Opsasnick indicates that Blatty’s novel was based on an actual 1949 exorcism of Ronald Hunkeler, a young boy from Cottage City, Maryland (although he uses pseudonyms Robbie Mannheim and Roland Doe). Hunkeler’s Catholic family was convinced the child’s aggressive behavior was attributable to demonic possession, and called upon the services of Father Walter Halloran to perform the rite of exorcism. Hunkeler grew up to become a successful NASA aeronautical engineer. Father Halloran maintained until his death in 2005 that he never witnessed Hunkeler display any of the supernatural behavior portrayed in the film; no foreign languages, changes in tone of voice, unusual strength, vomiting or urinating, or unusual markings on the boy’s body.”[1]

We know for horror novels and movies the stories play off of our fears. That goes without saying, but I always found it hard to swallow that the Devil would be interested in possessing child, but I can see an escaping demon or a damned soul somehow doing it. I know these ideas came from a TV series out of the 1990’s, Brimstone.

In 1983, Ezekiel “Zeke” Stone (Peter Horton) was a New York City Police detective whose wife, Rosalyn, was raped. He tracked down and arrested the offender, Gilbert Jax, who was cleared of the charges. Furious, Stone then murdered Jax. Two months later, Stone was killed and went to Hell for the murder. The Devil (played by John Glover) explains this was both because Stone responded to his wife’s rape with murder, and because he took pleasure in the killing, which prevented it from being justice. Stone died the most decorated cop in NYC history. Fifteen years later, a breakout from Hell occurs,  and 113 spirits escape. Because the Devil claims to be “powerless on Earth”, he makes a deal with Stone: Stone will be returned to Earth to track down these 113 escapees and if he can return all of them to Hell (before one of them kills him), he will earn a second chance at life on Earth (and thus, possibly, Heaven). It was suggested by an angel (in the episode “It’s a Helluva Life”) that Stone served God’s purpose as well as the Devil’s in his former life through his sins. [2] I know how it sounds and it may have not been the best but for a guy who lives in a world of fantasy, sci-fi and the like I liked the show. And most of all I really believe the idea was a sound premiss.  I think it could have gone on with enough fan support and the right writers. What I got out of the series was a new way of looking at things, religiously, morally, and personally. After thinking about the series, reading Paradise Lost, and the recording I heard in high school, I’m more convinced that Satan is real, but much like Jesus Christ, I seriously doubt we know a tenth of the truth, and Hollywood couldn’t get the correct story done even it Satan himself landed there. Hmmm now that I think about it with the state of things there maybe he did. 

I’m positive there is a place in the world for these types of movies, and I know there are fans who believe The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist are the scariest movies ever produced, and they are legitimate horror classics, but they are not my particular brand of bourbon I like.  I think besides the reasons I mentioned about Satan and my beliefs, for me personally I get scared of things I know can harm me. We know there are serial killers in the world, there are paranormal entities we’ve yet to explain that can reach out and touch us, the belief in Cryptids is among the strongest among people who have seen a Bigfoot or Nessie. Belief in Satan is real, but the same faith tells us he’s a fallen angel. To me this says he also was and has the potential for good and perhaps he works for God’s purposes like Brimstone speculated.

Next time for the post; Part 5 New School vs. Old School

[1] http://www.strangemag.com/exorcistpage1.html

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brimstone_(TV_series)