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Jurassic Shark: The Cure for Insomnia

Once in a while a shark movie comes along that makes me really proud to be a sharksploitation reviewer. Makes me feel like I am doing God’s work. This was one of those films. Not because it was good. But because I really took a bullet for you people, watching this shit sandwich so you never have to. You’re fucking welcome. 

Also I found the cure for insomnia. You’re fucking welcome again. 

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Pumpkinhead’ (1988)

Required Horror Viewing…

God, I love this fucking movie. First off, Pumpkinhead is one of the all-time greatest rubber monsters ever created. The practical effects are what this movie is all about. I mean, yeah they can be a little hokey, but that’s why they used the setting and filters they did. They used the atmosphere by layering it over the practical effects. It’s what made this movie. It’s just a damn cool monster.

I also appreciate the fact that they didn’t just throw a monster onto the scene but actually built up its mythos. Pumpkinhead isn’t just some rubber monster, it’s a rubber monster with history, reason, and a process. I guess I shouldn’t go too deeply into that outside of the spoilers.

Yeah, the acting wasn’t the greatest. It’s on par with horror though, so you can expect it to be a little hammy. Of course this has Lance mother fucking Henriksen, one of the most iconic actors in horror. He is really solid at what he does, but he can’t carry the whole movie.

The Story is simple, even if it is a little forced. Not that they drag it kicking and screaming, or that it’s offensively forced. It’s subtle but often just a little too convenient. I often accuse movies of spoon feeding the villain. This movie almost spoon feeds the victims. Again, more on that in the spoilers.

Pumpkinhead is a classic and required viewing for true horror fans, but I submit that even casual viewers will enjoy this movie, even today. It holds up to the test of time and is a must watch.


Yeah, I get it, something bad had to happen to drive Lance’s character to revenge. Yeah, you do kinda have to lead the plot in order to set up the circumstances that will end in the death of his son. But are you seriously telling me that three able body adults couldn’t outrun and tackle an eight year old? Just do something else to set up the kid’s death. I mean, one second he’s running past them, the next second he’s almost a football field’s length away. And the only person who thinks to stop the kid trips flat on her face, because of course she does. And rather than running after the kid, her two friends practically tackle her. Why? Did they think jumping on their friend was more important than preventing the injury of a little kid?

I also don’t exactly understand why Pumpkinhead needs to kill all of the dumb bastards. Only the one guy was actually responsible for the death of the little kid. Mind you, that’s not the guy who Lance’s character sees with his dead son. So why doesn’t Pumpkinhead go after him instead? What exactly are the rules of how it chooses the people who are marked? Lance’s character Ed Harley is what focuses Pumpkinhead’s actions, right? So, it would sort of make more sense that Pumpkinhead would go after either the guy who actually killed the kid or his brother who Ed Harley saw with the dead kid. Now, Pumpkinhead does kill the brother first. But we can’t have the movie end there, so it could make sense that Ed want’s Pumpkinhead to kill them both. But, if that’s the case, they would need to sell the concept that both the brothers are who Pumpkinhead was actually after, and only attacks the other characters because they interfered. Once they all clearly interfered with Pumpkinhead’s vengeance, then it could just start wantonly picking them off. They just needed to get there first.

Finally, having the random dog bite Ed Harley was also a bit forced. Yeah, they needed to show that injuring Ed meant injuring Pumpkinhead, but there are so many other seamless ways they could have done that. Ed could just as easily gotten injured in a tussle with any number of the cast, or with the big drooly demon itself. There wasn’t any need to force that scene.

But these infractions are just so minor. This movie is really a gem in the horror book.

Fans! I’m pleased to announce that “Inhuman Error” my new novella and collaboration with James Lief, is currently on sale for pre-order for only $2+tax, for the e-book. The official release date is 09/07. Check out the free sample at the link below and consider buying a copy.

And please join me for the official online release party that night at 8pm on FB.

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Madness Heart Press Patreon Launched

We want to pay our authors more. We want to bring you fresh new horror, to this end we have created a Patreon. Of course, we would never ask for anything without offering something in return. Here are some of the things we are offering for our patrons:

  • Exclusive Flash Fiction
  • Exclusive Access to Reed Alexander’s Horror Review Serial fiction
  • Exclusive Patron Short stories
  • Bonus Episodes of Madness Heart Radio
  • Digital copies of every book we publish
  • Proof copies of new books delivered to your door, BEFORE they are available!
  • Bespoke horror created just for you from a prompt YOU dictate
  • Opportunity to have us advertises for you on Madness Heart Radio
  • Listed as Supporter on the MHP webpage
  • Shoutouts on Madness Heart Radio

As you can see, we’ll be doing a ton of content on Patreon for those who want to show their support, but we won’t be taking away any of the content we already publish through our free channels. Our goal is to expand what we offer, and by doing so be able to support the authors and artists who make amazing horror media.

Become a Patron!
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How Not to Horror Addendum: Premises

In a previous piece here at Madness Heart Press (“How Not to Horror”), I pointed out a few pitfalls that a creative person embarking on a horror project should avoid. I suggested that people not trust the industry to have their best interests (or, indeed, those of readers/viewers) at heart. I also pointed out that a cool plot or good set location is not enough, on its own, to breathe life into a story. This week, I’d like to add another entry to my list of traps to avoid, this one the inverse, in a way, of my last one. It turns out that acting, directing, and even writing aren’t enough to save a story – a premise – that is just plain lame.

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House Shark: Don’t Knock It!

I feel that I need to start by revisiting the sentiment from my first blog. These types of movies are not everyone’s cup of briny tea. It takes a person with an ample sense of humor and lowered expectations to enjoy a “so bad it’s good” sharksploitation film. I am always baffled by the one star reviews for these. Who the hell thinks that House Shark is going to be a benchmark for cinematic achievement? Lighten up. 

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4th Grader Wishes Every Day Was Friday the 13th

Hahaha kehkehkeh … Can you hear it in your head—the theme of death from Friday the 13th? If you can’t, I know someone who can, Walt G. He’s a fourth grader, so I’m leaving his last name off for privacy purposes. Despite being so young,  Walt loves the Friday the 13th movies and particularly loves the villain, Jason Voorhees.  

I decided to talk to Walt for my blog, because it’s not every day that you run into a kid who every Friday insists on wearing a TGIF Tshirt featuring an infamous hockey mask. Recently he’s added a new shirt still featuring the hockey mask but emblazed with the words Killin’ It. He said that his teachers are very worried about him wearing the shirts. “I’m not going to do anything like Jason,” Walt said.  

He also said that none of his friends and fellow students get weirded out by it either. It seems to be part of his charm. Jason isn’t his only creepy obsession. Walt has recently started enjoying the video game Five Nights at Freddy’s, which is about possessed animatronic animals at a shuttered children’s restaurant. He assured me that it’s as creepy as it sounds, but it doesn’t bother him too much in daylight.  

Walt admitted that at night he’s like any other kid. In the darkness, the real monsters might be lurking, and he doesn’t want anything to do with that. “I’ve woke up at like 3 a.m. before. It’s not my thing,” he said.  

With his apprehension about late night hours, I asked him why he liked Jason so much. Walt replied, “He wears a hockey mask.” I pointed out that he wore a sack over his head in one movie that only had a single eyehole cut out. “That’s okay too,” he said.  

Like so many people who love the slasher movie franchises, Walt has a favorite kill. “I remember these people were camping. Jason grabbed them up in their sleeping bags and slammed them against a tree.” He was a little excited talking about that scene. 

In the course of the interview, it came out that Walt has difficulty tying his shoes and goes around with them untied a lot. Of course this makes tripping a very likely possibility. When asked if he was aware that tripping and falling down was the number one way that Jason got you in the movies, he laughed and shook his head, appearing unafraid of that scenario.  

Walt isn’t a fan of all scary movies, however. The recent version of It didn’t sit well with him, and he stopped watching it after only a few minutes of encountering the new Pennywise. The night before our interview, he’d been introduced to Aliens. He said that he liked that movie okay, but it wasn’t Friday the 13th.  

So if you are ever worried that kids these days can’t appreciate the classics, don’t be. Kids like Walt are out there, loving the modern classic monsters and getting into things like Five Nights at Freddy’s, which promises to be a great segue into the love of horror.