Weird Science… is 34 years old! What?! And… Ancient Rome.

Weird

Anyone remember this John Hughes gem? The same guy that brought us, Uncle Buck, Home Alone, Sixteen Candles and countless other fun films?

This film was… different. Two unpopular, lonely, high school boys create what they think is the ideal woman using a computer program, a Barbie Doll, some Frankenstein-esque lightning sequences and, of course, while wearing bras on their heads. She shows them the error of their ways using ‘teaching moments’.

Weird right? An accurate title for sure. I liked this movie. I don’t know how it would hold up to today’s standards, but I thought it was a fun film infused with imagination. Like when the older brother Chet (Bill Paxton as below) is turned into a giant turd by the Uber Woman, Kelly Brock.

BillP
Bill Paxton as Chet

ChetTurd

Chet as Chet Turd

And then there are the high school cool kids coercing our lovable nerds into making them an ideal woman… one of them played by a young Robert Downey Jr.!

Robert

Look at how young he is!

Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, give it a try. There are some really great scenes. Like the one where they have this big party and it is crashed by…wait, you should check it out yourself. If you’re an 80’s film fan, you’ll really enjoy it.

And now:

Ancient Rome!!!

Bathhouses were a popular place for any citizen, poor or rich, of Rome to spend the afternoon. Adopted from the Greek practice, the Romans once again took an idea and expanded upon it. They built lavish bathhouses where men, women, and slaves would go to once the workday finished.

The bathhouses had warm heated pools and cool ones to dip into. They had gyms for exercise, booths that sold food and other products as well as reading rooms with books. The Ancient Roman bathhouses were the community centers of the ancient world. They were very popular and as such, they were built lavishly. Below is an example of a bathhouse. This one had been built in England and can still be visited today.

RomanBathEngland

Excellent, isn’t it?

These places got filthy though. It wasn’t recommended to visit a bathhouse if one had an open wound. Gangrene was a very real probability. Ouch.

Support my horror/thriller writing here:

The Bestselling Doll House  and;

Horror Talks top ten horror books of 2018, The Tracker and;

End of the world novella titled, Balance and;

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Have a great week! Be kind to everyone!

 

 

Great Stories…The Fox and the Forest by Ray Bradbury

A short story that appeared in the Illustrated Man collection…

Ok, wow!

This story was expertly written. The breadcrumbs of information made the reader want to follow that path…

The year was 1938. Our characters, William and Susan, were in Mexico. They were at a celebration and they were enjoying themselves, being at one with the crowds, the sights, and the smells. Ray Bradbury wrote this in a way where it was like hearing a conversation in my own head. It was smooth, no breaks in concentration and no re-reading of lines. This makes it very easy to ride-along with the tale. So there you are, getting a sense of scenery, a sense of our characters and knowing they are having the time of their lives until on William says, “They’ll never find us.”

Wait…what?

That one statement created a cascade of questions tumbling through my head. Who are they? Why are they looking for William and Susan? What do Mexico and the year have to do with this story? Why were those details mentioned? 

Right? Four words turn this vacation tale into a mystery.

There were little clues like this peppered throughout this short tale. The man in white watching them (who was that guy?). Susan was worried that this man was a Searcher! (what is a Searcher?) The man in white approaching them, smoking a cigarette, calling them by different names and then you learn what was really going on.

SPOILER ALERT!!!
William and Susan are not their real names. They are people escaping from the year 2155 AD. There was a war going on in the future and William happened to be a bomb maker, an intrinsic cog in the war effort. They couldn’t let him be…they needed him.

The reader finds out how they got to the past. It was one of the vacation options from the future. Yeah, you could take a vacation in the past. Want to see Julius Caesar be assassinated? Sure! No problem. Maybe see Babe Ruth hit a homerun? Why not? They would even supply you with the appropriate clothes and the appropriate language so you’d pass as a native!

William and Susan were trusted citizens at the time. They were allowed to take this Time Vacation. When they got to where (when) they were supposed to go, they changed their names, clothes and traveled as far away as they could to escape the Searchers and to escape having to go back to the future.

But sadly, they were caught. They attempted to blend in and stay with a group of filmmakers because to be taken back, it had to be done in secret with no witnesses. They couldn’t just use the time machine in the middle of a busy, public street. The Searcher made it clear that he would wait. He was very patient. He would get them alone eventually and they would find themselves back where they were meant to be but, if they didn’t come with him soon, when their usefulness was exhausted in the future, they would be subjected to incredible pain.

William saw no way out for himself. In order to go back without putting up a fight, William negotiated Susan’s safety. If he turned himself over, the Searcher would let her stay. The Searcher was really only interested in William anyway, so he agreed and a meeting time was set up for the next day.

At this meeting time, William ran over the Searcher with a car, killing him. What? Now they were both safe and after being cleared by the police, they made plans to become invisible again.

The filmmakers provided them with the opportunity. They were invited out to California. Susan could be an actress. In their minds, it was potentially the perfect cover. They agreed. The filmmakers invited them to their rooms to celebrate.

Once in the room, out of the public eye, the filmmakers revealed themselves to be the second team of Searchers. They always sent two teams.

William and Susan didn’t escape. The story closes with them disappearing into the future.

What I learned:

  1. The dialogue was very effective in progressing this story forward. Even if the context was initially mysterious, it was later clarified with brilliant simplicity. Mastering dialogue helps master story direction.
  2. Little snippets of information are always better than long expositions. It helps build suspense and mystery and prevents reader attention diversion.

Well, what do you think? Have you read this? You’re doing yourself a disservice if you haven’t!

Hope you enjoyed my prattling.

Have a great week. Be kind to everyone!

My books:

The Bestselling Doll House  and;

Horror Talks top ten horror books of 2018, The Tracker and;

End of the world novella titled, Balance and;

Newest book available for preorder, Off the Grid!

Pro Tip: If you type in PREORDER2019 for Off the Grid, you’ll get an extra 15% off.

Our Podcast:

Movies of the Damned!!

 

 

MOVIES OF THE DAMNED!! on YouTube!! This week, we discuss What We Do In The Shadows…

shadowws

This movie is what you get when you force a bunch of ancient vampires to be roommates and film it as though you were watching a reality TV show. A cross between Housewives of Orange County and Real Life. Needless to say, this was very entertaining and well worth your time.

Join us as we discuss it. The boy, Ethan, is a guest for this one too.

Listen here: Movies of the Damned!!

And have you heard? We are now on YouTube! Please check it out here:

MOVIES OF THE DAMNED!! YouTube edition!

I posted a Welcome to the Channel video. It’s less than four minutes. Let me know what you think of it.

You can support us on YouTube by liking and subscribing. Oh, and it is so much easier to comment on YouTube so, please feel free to do so and leave suggestions. We will absolutely read them.

You can support the podcast by liking and subscribing, so, please do.

You can support my writing by purchasing and rating my books, so follow the links, see the reviews, and buy yourself a terrifying ride.

Doll House and The Tracker.

And check out my newest horror book, an end of the world novella without zombies, aliens or flaring sunspots, here: Balance.

Have a great week. Be kind to everyone.