Friday, June 30, 2017


UNCLE SAM - Oft cited as one of the worst examples of the horror comedy genre, Uncle Sam is actually a very enjoyable movie. Be prepared for gory slasher scenes and a creative take on the July 4th holiday. William Lustig is the director of Uncle Sam, Maniac, Vigilante and Maniac Cop.  The latter (Maniac Cop) has simple effects, a straightforward screenplay, effective acting (Bruce Campbell from The Evil Dead), spawned two sequels (Maniac Cop 2, Badge of Silence) and has become a cult classic.  Wondering what to do this holiday? It’s always a good time for a horror movie!

Uncle Sam 1996 full movie

Uncle Sam 1996 Trailer

Uncle Sam Potato Sack Race clip

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


THE WRITE CHARACTERS - So you’ve had your characters do things (plot) and feel things (emotion). But that’s not all there is to writing. Nope. Writing a fully realized character that transforms is critical to crafting good fiction. How does your character react to what’s happening? How is your character different than anyone else? Is your wooden character predictable? Answer these questions, since that’s what drives the story forward. Here are some important points to consider. Physical appearance – Do this first. Fix an image in your mind and fill out a description thumbnail sketch. Writing indistinguishable characters is one of the worst mistakes a writer can make. Begin scenes with sparing description and devote more detail to major characters. Main characters - The strongest characters are at least somewhat based on a real person. Tap into their qualities, get behind their motivations and analyze their quirks. Dissect the psychology of why they do what they do. Also, all characters (at least somewhat) fall into a type or archetype. Minor characters - You are going to have more and less important characters as you go along. Sometimes it won’t be immediately clear. But as you write, your story will reveal itself to you. Bit parts should have less detail. Always provide a line of description and name characters except for the most insignificant. Character archetypes - Be wary of stereotypes such as making your character too heroic or too villainous. Avoid stock characters that come across as cliché. Know the examples (protagonist, antagonist, hero, villain, mentor, love interest, sidekick, stock characters, jock, princess, nerd, outcast, rebel, etc.) so you know when to break them. Character names - Pick a name that evokes feeling or ties back into the story arc thematically. Select each name beginning with a different hard consonant. Name characters with vowels sparingly or not at all. Character arc – This point is the most important and won’t be done until you’ve reached the end. The constellation of secondary characters are there to support the main character’s change in outlook. This isn’t accomplished on a page or within a chapter. Your main character has to undergo some type of transformation.



Wednesday, June 14, 2017


LOVECRAFT BLOCH COMICS TRIO – This post reviews weird short stories interpreted by Marvel Comic’s Journey Into Mystery series. HP Lovecraft was published in Weird Tales but never really made it as a working writer. He’s lauded today amongst the likes of Poe, Wells, Bradbury and Tolkien in the annals of American literature. Fan fiction abounds on the interwebs where his public domain works are freely available. The Haunter of the Dark is in the oeuvre of the Old Ones mythos he created. His protégé Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, wrote companion pieces to Haunter including The Shambler from the Stars and The Shadow From the Steeple. Bloch appears as Robert Blake in Haunter and Lovecraft dedicated the story to him. Bloch wrote Shambler as the prequel to Haunter and later wrote Shadow as the final installment. Here’s a recap of all three. A desperate author asks his friend to translate a magic spell and summons the Shambler, leaving behind a charred body. Later, the evil lure of the steeple draws in a lurker who discovers a jewel in an open box. And in the end, the spirit inhabiting the jewel learns to inhabit the body of a human host. Bloch was heavily influenced early on by Lovecraft. But he went on to write widely for pulp magazines, a series of radio dramas, 30 novels, short story collections, comic book adaptations, film and television scripts. Do you love vintage tales supernatural horror, like I do? Then you’re going to love these comics!


#ChadSchimke #Vintage #Horror #SanFrancisco #ComicBook #Blog 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


STAR UPDATE - Data from this star gets stranger still and it’s back in the news again. On May 19, when a dimming of 3% below normal was observed, a global call went out to astronomers. They were asked to track the star in order to determine the cause of this mysterious behavior. Flickering was first confirmed in 2015, one possible theory stated it might be an alien megastructure, such as a Dyson Sphere. KIC 8462852, Boyajian's star, or Tabby's star demonstrated irregular dimming followed by a return to it’s original brightness. This month’s event is the first seen in real time, which presents an opportunity, attempting to see what’s blocking it’s light. Something--a planet, comet storms, or a Dyson Sphere--has to be passing in front of it. Want to know more? Check out the new show on the Science Channel entitled Space’s Deepest Secrets which will feature an eposide on Tabby’s Star. The series premieres on June 6.