Monday, November 30, 2015

American Horror Story: Hotel Episode 7 Flicker Recap Continues

American Horror Story: Hotel Flicker Spoilerama




As always when it comes to American Horror Story, you could spend days writing about references, symbols, cross-overs, and homages but who has time for that?

But, while I have a minute, another homage that I noticed in watching Flickers was the scene where Mr. March tells The Countess about Valentino. It had such echoes from Gone with the Wind that I actually looked for the GWTW clip on YouTube and here it is!

I'm a huge Gone with the Wind fan, I don't know why. Perhaps it was the big dresses. Perhaps it was Scarlett's drive or Rhett's tenacity in trying to get her to love him. Perhaps it was the huge scope of the film itself, the changing times, the musical score that makes me weep with its choreographed schmaltziness, or pehaps it was the tragic yet possibly hopeful ending. I read the book many times as a teenager and often will watch a part of the movie if it's on TV.  It is a horror story in many ways. Just the war scenes themselves, fiction or real, were horrific.

Evan Peters is doing a fantastic job with Mr. March, modelling him after a Gable-esque early thirties type with passion for murder. His jealousy of the Countess' love for Valentino rivals Rhett's jealousy of Scarlett's love for Ashley. 

While Rhett doesn't touch Ashley, as he knows Ashley has no interest in Scarlett, March seeks revenge on the hedonistic Valentino and his wife, and walls them into the hotel for nearly 100  years. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

American Horror Story: Hotel Episode 7 "Flicker" Thoughts

Spoilers for American Horror Story: Hotel Episode 7 "Flicker"




The real Rudolph Valentino

I will admit that I tuned in this week with a heavy heart, knowing that Finn Wittrock was dead and I doubted that he would be brought back as undead although you never know on that show.

Wasn't I thrilled when I was looking at Valentino going, "Hang on, I recognize that mole...and the way his teeth show when he's leering...that jaw's Finn, but is it? All these damn AHS:Hotel guys look the same."

I checked out the brown eyes and imagined them green and by a few minutes in, I knew it was him. 

Boy was I happy. And what a nice surprise. I realized that of course they would use him to play Gaga's lover. It was set up long ago that Tristan looked like The Countess' long lost love but we hadn't learned the back story yet...until this episode.

I'd never really noticed that Wittrock does indeed share a resemblance to Valentino. And Wittrock is about the age Valentino was when he died. They both are smoldering hot heart throbs when on-screen.

Valentino met his wife Natacha on a film set and though the gossip magazines had them divorcing, in the world of AHS: Hotel, they were actually swingers.Valentino likes Gaga when he meets her as a mousey yet exotic girl on a film set and so he brings her home to Natacha and the three of them share a decadent tango and proceed to enjoy many months of hedonism.

When Valentino dies too young and suddenly, Gaga was going to jump out a window at the fancyass party thrown by James March (Evan Peters) however March catches her. And they quickly get married.

Despite the distraction of being a married to a serial killer, Gaga still visits Valentino's crypt every day. She's the Lady in Black. 

However, it turns out that Valentino had faked his own death. He received the secret of eternal life from filmmaker Murnau who learned it while he was researching Nosferatu.

Valentino and Natacha want their threesome to continue on into eternity and they come back for Gaga and turn her.

Unknown to the Countess, March discovers her love for Valentino and also discovers that he's still alive, and so seeks revenge.

The story is kind of cool with how Valentino and his wife had been trapped in their room and hotel hallways for nearly 100 years until they were unearthed by the construction crew.

I will admit, I almost, almost got sucked into an American Horror Story headspin about how did Valentino become Tristan. What is the timeline? Then I remembered my first instinct, one actor, two people.

Valentino himself played two roles in films.

real Valentino

Of course, now Valentino and Natacha are running loose on the streets of LA so they might be gone for many episodes. Who knows? Maybe they'll find the vampire not vampire child army and do something with it, to get back at March for walling them in.

Maybe they'll make a movie. Maybe they just go on a debaucherous blood and drug-fuelled hedonist rampage.

They might end up in cahoots with Angela Bassett and her gang but likely not since they love Gaga.

In the meantime, there were other stories, like crazy cop dad pretending not pretending to be nuts to get into the insane asylum to talk to a murderer.

Meanwhile I think he was insane in a cell talking to himself. I think by this point it's pretty obvious he's the Killer and that's why he was at the serial killer dinner.

The ending of the episode was unexpected and in hindsight, it's hilarious.

No one stays dead at the Cortez, really.

Wonder if Valentino will meet Tristan if Tristan comes back as a ghost vampire not vampire? Wouldn't his neck just automatically heal anyway? It was just a flesh wound after all. He might not even be dead.

Will Elizabeth Taylor hook up with Valentino?

Will the Countess regret killing Tristan when Valentino returns? She could have had TWO of them at once.

So many questions and now we have to wait two weeks!

And thanks, American Horror Story for giving me a great twist with keeping Wittrock around a bit longer!

Edited to add:

I love reading other recaps every week. Here's one that's fun. I know I didn't mention "the accent." I figure Finn got his accent training from the same place as Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates. American Horror Story Recap

Monday, November 9, 2015

American Horror Story:Hotel Now What?




Another episode will soon be upon us.

Reviews about last week's episode seem to vary between "eh" to "the best thing ever."

Personally, I found it slow. I guess I got used to all the blood and mayhem and sex and though this episode, Room Service, certainly was gory, it wasn't exciting for me.

However, here we are.

The little boy who was saved from measles has turned his entire class into vampires that aren't vampires who have the measles but don't have the measles.

How are the writers going to deal with all of that?

Then there are the most selfish parents in the world.

Ms. Doctor who gives the dying measles child the not-vampire blood which causes him to become a blood-sucking freak but does she even go to check on her daughter? She's so enamoured with her son and meddling with playing God that she forgets about her kid. If she connected with Miss Scarlett, we don't know.

And then there's dear old dad, who's too busy having a nervous breakdown or something to remember he has a daughter. He'd rather dwell on himself and his dead or not dead kid than worry about a girl with a depressed mom and loony tunes dad.

That cop detective storyline is getting so boring. We got he was descending into madness from day one. So now what? No surprise he lost his wife and job. Hurry up and do something already. Is he the serial killer? Is that why he was at the dinner party?

We got hammered home with more mother stuff, and weird mom and son connections.

We didn't get to see Finn Wittrock naked but briefly saw him a la Gary Oldman in Dracula on the arm of Lady Gaga as they sniffed Kathy Bates because she smells different.

Ho hum.

We learn about Elizabeth Taylor's transformation and that she's not dead nor a not-vampire but actually someone who works at the Cortez on her own free will. Mostly because she can cross-dress without having to kill anyone over it. A segment was devoted to the back story about how a simple salesman from Kansas got swept up in the Countess' tornado and became a permanent living employee of the hotel. Oh, and Liz likes girls. Perhaps something will happen between Liz and Iris.

I wonder if Lady Gaga will be happy or angry that Chloe turned that kid who turned a whole bunch of kids?

Lady Gaga made it pretty clear that Chloe is expected to keep the rules so there is likely some kind of consequence to her action.

Iris was torturing tourists in the early episodes to provide blood for the children  yet it seemed like she had no clue what was going on with regard to the Hotel's dark secrets in this episode. There was odd character stuff this week for her.

Well, hopefully next week will be a kaleidoscope of mayhem. Two weeks of exposition is enough for me!

What do you think about American Horror Story: Hotel so far?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Samhain Thing

Let's start with, I'm a Samhain Horror author. I was and still am delighted to have my novellas published by Samhain Horror.

I am not delighted about what happened to my beloved editor, Don D'Auria.

Most of you know by now that an editor named Don D'Auria was fired from Samhain Horror Publishing on Tuesday. Some of you knew who Don was, others had no idea that anyone cared so much about an editor.

Some have called him a "superstar" in the horror genre.

At any rate, for whatever reasons, and personally, I think it was financial, Don was let go after a few years of building a horror line for Samhain Horror Publishing.

Horror isn't doing very well these days, if it ever has. People forget that "horror genre" is a niche for some kinds of horror. The best stories of any kind usually have some horror, romance, and comedy. I know from my own royalty statements with Samhaim that horror isn't exactly in a boon this minute. Or at least my weird little stories aren't in demand, but they never were for the masses, my work is for those who like quirky. And that's why I like Samhain and I like Don. They "get" my weird little stories.

However, there are other authors in the line who don't write weird little stories but actual horror novels and they too aren't exactly quitting their day jobs. So times are tough. We know that's true in all professions these days.

So, likely, Don's salary had to go and the work will be farmed out to other editors, or maybe there'll be a new more inexpensive editor, I don't know yet.

Don bought four books from me for the Leisure line back in the day. I was so thrilled to be working with him and for Leisure.

When he moved to Samhain, and once I returned to writing horror, I worked on three novellas with him. Wherever he goes, I hope to work with him again. He's a great editor and a decent human being and I have zero doubt he'll land on his feet.

Brian Keene discusses the Samhain situation from Tuesday's point of view with a statement from Don. :The Horror Show with Brian Keene

A couple of weeks ago, Samhain marketing team contacted all of the authors about how to help promote Samhain Publishing's 10th Anniversary. One idea was to write accolades about our favourite editors, with Don D'Auria being the one for horror, on social media. I posted my accolade on Monday night. Tuesday morning I received an email from Don saying he was fired.

Oh boy. I'm still upset about it all. In fact I have quite a headache and the cold/plague/flu thing I'd almost beat came swooping back in like a falcon on a pigeon. So I'm getting nothing done at all as I'm dizzy and coughing up a lung and rather in shock about this whole state of affairs.

People get fired all the time. I doubt it was personal and likely a painful financial decision. Don will land on his feet. He'll find a fantastic job, maybe even in Manhattan again and all will be right in the horror world once more.

I have to focus on the fact that A Penny Saved is already in pre-order at a special low price and  hope this backlash against Don's firing doesn't affect this Don-edited book. Or anyone else's Don-edited Samhain Horror book.

I'm sure there's another whole year of Don-edited books to come at Samhain. A Penny Saved is the last Don-edited book I have. I didn't get A Stitch in Time finished in time. (Ah, the irony...) but hopefully Samhain will still publish it as it's a companion piece to A Penny Saved.

Maybe Don should just open his own publishing company where he's the acquisitions editor and hire all the rest of it! Anything can happen in this crazy world.

Here's the link to Brian Keene's show where he discusses Samhain and Don D'Auria as well as other news.
The Horror Show with Brian Keene