With 2022 winding down, it’s time for my seventh annual list of the ten best films (at least ten years old) that I watched over this past year. The list is somewhat random and arbitrary, based on the movies I happen to choose to watch (or re-watch). The only theme I noticed from this year’s list is that the 1970s truly were a Golden Age of Hollywood filmmaking. Even some of the deeper cuts from that decade are great.
I would say they don’t make movies like this anymore, except they did—at least once with The Revenant in 2015, which was clearly influenced by Jeremiah Johnson. This is a powerful film, so different from most of the CGI-reliant movies made today. You can tell the cast and crew were actually there on location in the remote wilderness of Utah filming this movie—and simply seeing that natural landscape on the big screen was captivating. It makes you realize just how extraordinary the pioneers who ventured out West were, considering the lengths it took to survive mother nature. The film also portrays the tragic violence that took place between humans—the pioneers and the Native Americans. Sometimes I feel the desire to become like Jeremiah Johnson and move out to the remote mountains, build my own cabin, and live a quiet life alone in nature to read and write—but only sometimes.
Whether it’s zombie outbreaks, nuclear wastelands, or climate change, people love post-apocalyptic stories. Examples include books like The Road and A Canticle for Leibowitz, TV shows like The Walking Dead and Jericho, video games like Fallout and The Last of Us, comics like Y: The Last Man, and movies like Mad Max, I am Legend, World War Z, Book of Eli, and The Postman. The causes and effects differ, but what these stories share is the setting of a world after civilization has fallen, with people living in brutal conditions where everyday survival is a struggle. The themes are dark and dour, yet these stories are extremely popular. The question is: why are people so drawn to post-apocalyptic stories? Continue reading →
My new Halloween-themed novel, Trick or Zombie Treat is available on Amazon. You can always read a free sample of the beginning of the book there. But the story starts a bit slow, so I decided to post an excerpt from the middle of the book, once the action and horror has heated up. Continue reading →
My Halloween-themed YA/horror/comedy/sci-fi/fantasy/action/adventure novel, Trick or Zombie Treat is now available on Amazon. It’s about five boys who go trick or treating on Halloween and magically turn into actual versions of their costumes. Read below for a sample of the first four chapters. Continue reading →
Like many writers, I have a list of hundreds of half-baked ideas that I hope to one day turn into full-fledged stories. One such idea was kids on Halloween transforming into actual versions of their costumes. Last September, I decided to write it as a short story, hoping to finish in time for Halloween.
Cut to one year and 66,000 words later, and my short story is now a full-length novel. Continue reading →