Wednesday Briefs: October 20, 2021

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Ancalagon: Chapter Sixty by Cia Nordwell

Bouncer growled, but the large creature ignored his threat display. It blinked slowly, shuttering those glowing yellow eyes before it opened them again and twisted back around. Delicate feelers extended from the thick mandibles protruding below those large eyes and swept across Swintik’s hand, tasting the acoji nuts before it scooped them up. It tilted its head and swallowed the entire handful.

“Yes, you like that, don’t you?” Swintik chuckled when the segmented insect vibrated under his touch, clacking its mandibles together.

I really didn’t like insects. Usually they didn’t grow too large; their numbers were so great that they’d

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Book Review: Bleach, Vol 42 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol 42       

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 3, 2012

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

And so the battles between the Thirteen Court Guard Companies and the Espadas continue.

Halibel is dismayed to learn just how powerful Hitsugaya is as he unleashes his Frozen Heavens Hundred Flower Funeral on her, encasing her in ice. Sai Fon and Omaeda face Reaper Barragan, and Sai Fon is forced to use her Bankai. Omaeda has never seen her Bankai before and wonders what she can do with a weapon of that shape.

Shunsui is still facing Stark, and throws his kimono down to Ukitake to catch. Stark calls to Lilinette, who is still trying to fight Ukitake, who refuses to fight a child. Turns out that Stark and Lilinette work together, their powers divided into two bodies. Not only that, but Lilinette becomes a gun that can fire cero blasts! Stark is determined to force Shunsui to use his Bankai, but Shunsui resists, until Stark ups the ante, turning Lilinette into a submachine gun. Things look bad until Ukitake steps in, claiming it isn’t unfair since there are two of them.

Suddenly a garganta appears, and Wonderweiss arrives. According to Stark, “If Wonderweiss is here that can only mean that Lord Aizen’s patience has been exhausted.” Wonderweiss’ unnatural scream shatters Halibel’s ice prison. And the strange creature that came with Wonderweiss has just extinguished the flames surrounding Aizen, Tosen, and Gin… which means they are now free to join the fray.

Although this is a matter of dismay to the Soul Reapers, there is another group who have also just arrived and are just as eager to square off against Aizen et al – namely, Shinji and the other Visoreds. They aren’t thrilled to be working with the Soul Society, but it’s more a question of the enemy of my enemy is my ally. At least for now. Shunsui and Lisa have a touching reunion, and Shinji lets Captain Yamamoto that he considers himself Ichigo’s ally, not Soul Society’s. The Visoreds get their first taste of battle when the strange creature that came with Wonderweiss spews out a bunch of Gillians. Captain Komamura steps up to fight alongside the Visoreds, and to face Tosen as well.  As he does, Hisagi, requests to join that particular fight.

Another battle-heavy volume of Bleach, but it feels like we’re finally progressing. Maybe because Aizen and his toadies have stepped into the fight. There could be no denouement without that. The appearance of the Visoreds was unexpected and very welcome. They certainly have just cause to hate Aizen, although they also have no real love for Soul Society, who should consider themselves lucky to have them as temporary allies. I loved watching Shunsui battle against Stark, and I loved the way Ukitake didn’t hesitate to join him. They’ve been friends for a very long time, and are favorites of the Old Man himself.

Nothing of Ichigo this time around, although that’s just a matter of time since he has defeated Ulquiorra. I guess he needs to figure out how to get out of Hueco Mundo first.

Another great volume, looking forward to the next.

Saturday is Horror Day #32 – Dark Water, V/H/S

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Dark Water


Yoshimi Matsubara (Hitomi Kuroki) is going through a difficult divorce. Her husband wants custody of their almost six year-old daughter Ikuko (Rio Kanno), but Yoshimi refuses to entertain the idea. Not in the best of financial situations, Yoshimi moves herself and her daughter to an older apartment building, anxious to put down roots quickly so she can keep Ikuko with her. The apartment has issues, including water spots on the ceilings, but the maintenance is less than stellar.

While exploring the building by herself, Ikoku discovers a red bag containing an assortment of little girls’ toys, but her mother won’t allow her to keep it. She leaves it with the building’s maintenance man, who puts it into the lost and found. And yet it inexplicably turns up among Ikoku’s things. A distraught Yoshimi throws it away herself.

 

Yoshimi is under a great deal of stress, with a new job and having to pick up Ikoku from kindergarten. She is often late, which stresses Ikoku out too. The leak in the apartment has only become worse. Yoshimi thinks maybe it’s the people above them, so goes upstairs to talk to them. But no one answers her knock. Yet when she is in the elevator, she sees the door open, and a small figure in a yellow raincoat appears. When Yoshimi goes back up, though, there is no one to be seen.

Yoshimi wants to move, immediately, but her lawyer advises her that would not look well, especially


since Ikoku would be forced to change kindergartens, and stability is what is needed in the situation. Yoshimi isn’t sure how much longer she can take all this water. People say that there is something wrong with the water and some won’t even touch it. 

Yoshimi spots a flier in the building about a little girl who went missing in 1999. A little girl in a yellow raincoat.  She is worried that someone or something is trying to take Ikoku away from her, and she is determined to do everything in her power to prevent that.

On one level, perhaps this film can be seen in terms of symbolism. The leaking roof of the battered apartment building being the leaky relationship that is their marriage.  On another level, it’s a horror movie about a missing little girl who just wants to be found and loved.  There are parallels between the two girls, Matsuko and Ikoku, with both of them waiting at the preschool to be picked up, feeling alone and abandoned. Yoshimi is so desperate to keep her daughter with her that she becomes almost irrational in her actions when faced with the idea of losing her. To some, her actions might be understandable, but they are also open to misinterpretation by her husband’s lawyer. Damned if she does, and damned if she doesn’t.

As the roof gets worse and worse, so does Yoshimi, until you begin to question is she really seeing what she thinks she is? A complex horror story, Dark Water was well worth watching, and somewhat sad. I’ll give it a sold 3.5 Stars.

V/H/S


Brad (Adam Wingard) and his friends are always up for a good prank, and love to record themselves performing them, even if they are in questionable taste. So when someone wants to hire them to break into a home and steal back a VHS tape, they’re up for it. To their dismay, they find an old man has expired inside the house. But at least he won’t bother them, right? The trouble is, there was no indication exactly which tape is wanted, and there are a whole bunch of tapes. So while the others search the house, Adam sits down to view some of the tapes. And what he sees is…. well, disturbing.

Three drunk young men who get themselves thrown out of a night club because of their behavior, end up taking two girls to a motel room for some fun. One is very willing, at least until she passes out. The other girl is a little strange. But what the little head wants… well, any port in a storm. One guy is kind of shy but interested, and allows himself to be coaxed into a threesome, while the third guy just sits on the couch and laughs his head off. But things go a little awry.

 

A couple go on a road trip together. But at their motel, a strange young woman beats on their door, wanting a ride. After she leaves, they’re a bit creeped out. They’d be even more creeped out if they could see what she did while they were sleeping.

A young woman and her boyfriend are separated by miles but stay in touch through Facetime. She’s a little nervous in her apartment, and wakes him up in the middle of the night, having heard something. He tells her that nothing is going on. And when she insists that something is wrong with her arm, he tells her he’ll take a look at it in a week, when he is there. But when she wakes him again, he begins to see she is not alone…


A guy is ecstatic when a girl he’s interested in invites him to a park for some alone time. Except another couple is coming with them. And apparently she told the other girl it would be a girls day. So, what exactly is going on here?

A few friends are excited to attend a Halloween party. But when they arrive at the address they’re given, there is no sign of life, so they begin to look around the old house. Maybe this is the set-up and they have to figure out where the party is happening. When one of them goes into the basement, in search of the party, he reports hands coming out of the walls. The others think that is pretty cool. But what they find next isn’t quite so cool.

This is a collection of found footage stories. The title stands for video horror shorts, and these are. Shot in found footage style, I have to say the beginning seemed a little slow and I wasn’t sure I was going to continue to watch. But I did, and I’m glad. As the stories progress, you begin to see the inherent horror in each. I’ll tell you this right now, this film is not for the squeamish. I found it exceedingly creepy, and more than a little jaw-dropping. But that’s what you want in a horror film, right? This is the kind of film you find yourself shouting at the characters to watch out ’cause they can’t see what you do, and you are afraid of what is about to happen.

 

I would not want to live through any of these scenarios. This was definitely well worth watching. As I said, I don’t scare easily, but this had a definite creep factor. And I watched it in the daytime. I can only imagine that being magnified if I saw it at night. I’ll give it a solid 4.5 Stars.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 6 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 6     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: May 7, 2019

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga/200 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Tanjiro and the others are saved by the arrival of higher level Demon Slayers, the Hashira, but one of them, Shinobu, is intent on destroying Nezuko, who is being protected by another Hashira named Tomioka. Tomioka tells Tanjiro to take Nezuko and flee, but Shinobu is determined to slay the demon in their midst. Luckily a message arrives to take both Tanjiro and his sister to headquarters. There Tanjiro is told he is to be put on trial.

The Hashira have differing opinions on what to do with Tanjiro and his sister, and some of their solutions are rather bloodthirsty. One of them is more concerned with punishing Tomioka since he broke the rules by protecting a demon. Tanjiro tries to explain about the circumstances which led to Nezuko becoming a demon, and how she has never eaten human flesh in all this time and would never hurt a human. And how he became a swordsman in order to protect her. One rather insane Hashira, covered with scars, picks up Nezuko’s box and decides to insert his sword into it randomly. Naturally, Tanjiro attacks him, even though his hands are bound behind him and he has no weapon.

The Master of the mansion arrives, and he seems like a rather laid back sort of guy. He tells the others that he accepts Tanjiro and Nezuko, then proceeds to have read a letter from Urokodaki, verifying what Tanjiro has been trying to tell them. The Master then explains that Muzan Kibutsuji has sent agents after the brother and sister, thus exposing more of himself to them than he has ever done before. Surely this means something. The insane Hashira decides to test Nezuko for himself, though, expecting to trick her into drinking human blood.

While the Hashira deliberate, Tanjiro is sent to the Butterfly Mansion. They take him and Nezuko to the infirmary, where he is reunited with an unhappy Zenitsu and a slumbering Inosuke. The four are left to heal until Shinobu comes to tell them it’s time for their rehabilitation training. After a few days of intense training, Zenitsu and Inosuke quit showing up, but Tanjiro persists. He is determined to do his best and then help the others to succeed as well.

Since Tanjiro’s sword was broken, a new one needs to be forged. And the sword maker is not happy that this is necessary, taking it out on Tanjiro when he delivers the new blade. And in other news, another side of Muzan Kibutsuji is revealed.

I love the humor in these stories, and I love the characters. They are very much unique and well-drawn. There is also a great deal of warmth and love, especially between Tanjiro and his sister, and the way he relates to other people. Well, most of the time. He does have his moments, of course. The surprise reveal about Muzan was … well, surprising. I certainly didn’t see that coming.

Still haven’t changed my mind about Inosuke, maybe later.  Good volume, looking forward to more.

Book Review: Twentieth Century Boys, Vol 21: Arrival of the Space Aliens by Naoki Urasawa

Twentieth Century Boys, Vol 21: Arrival of the Space Aliens     

Author: Naoki Urasawa

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 17, 2012

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/208 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

A lone DJ plays the same song constantly, and begs for listeners, if there are any, to please call in. He finds he has to travel farther to forage for food as his local sources run out. What is this place with an old helicopter sitting close at hand? The DJ finds someone who has locked himself into the back room, and begins to talk to him. About the friend he let down in the year 2000 when his friend needed him. Turns out the DJ was a friend of Kenji’s. Small world.

In Rome, the Pope is rumored to be very ill, and people wait anxiously outside the Vatican. Father Nitani has been summoned by the Pontiff himself but finds he cannot gain entrance due to the fact he can’t prove he isn’t a space alien such as the Friend says are coming. Day after day he waits nearby, and notices a young boy who goes in and out through a subterranean entrance. Turns out this child has been looking for him, on the orders of the Pope himself. The boy’s family, who once lived in Japan, cook for the Pope, because he doesn’t trust anyone else, thinking he is being poisoned by them.  And the boy carries a message for the priest.

Just a wall separates Kenji and the others from Tokyo, but it’s a big one. Kenji talks to Chono about the Osaka Expo in 1970 and how badly he wanted to go but couldn’t. Chono then tells Kenji about the Expo he was at in Tokyo, and how he and a priest named Luciano ended up inside the Dark Tower, and what he heard— the sound of playing children and a voice crying “Yoo hoo, Kenji, c’mon let’s play.” Now Kenji is convinced he needs to go to the new Tokyo Expo. Luckily an underground entrance has been found to circumvent the wall. It might be smelly, but they have little choice but to take it.

Takasu has assumed the title of secretary-general, following the death of Manjome (at her hands). And she has accomplished her other goal as well – she is pregnant! She doesn’t even care if the current Friend isn’t the one they once knew. It’s all the same to her, as long as she is the Holy Mother.

Friend has told the people of the world of the coming of the space aliens with a dreadful virus that will wipe out all of humanity. The only way to survive is to emigrate to Mars! But even that is a sham, as the first rocket sent to Mars disappeared, and the footage shown of their arrival is all computer-generated. Meanwhile, space ships have begun to appear above various locations around the world, and they are shooting out red paint, as if doing a test run. It’s only a matter of time until they begin to spray the actual virus.

How can humanity be saved? Is there any place on Earth that is safe? And why is the Friend making this announcement right now? Did he just make a major confession?

Omigosh, everything is coming to a head and yet who knows how it will end? This could go so many ways. One more volume, do you believe it? Such an exciting ride this has been. I’ll be sorry when it ends. Good thing the author has other books. I intend to start reading Pluto, and I’m already reading Monster.

My hope is that Kenji and his song will save the day, and the Friend (whoever he is now) and his organization will be defeated and then the world can go back to normal. Whatever normal is now.  But I also worry that something will go horribly wrong. I have to say I am really curious to know who is playing the part of the Friend now.

Cross your fingers and keep rooting for Kenji!

Wednesday Briefs: October 13, 2021

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

An Unholy Alliance #20 (5.4) by Julie Lynn Hayes’

As I approached the front door, I found myself assailed by an unaccustomed feeling of nervousness, waves of butterflies pirouetting inside my stomach. Could it be the knowledge that my quest might finally be reaching an end? Or maybe I feared the opposite. Would I learn something I didn’t want to know? What was of greater concern to me, bad news or no news at all?

Either way, I intended to find out. I’d come too far to back down now.

Stop being such an infant and knock on the door already.

Click here to read the entire Brief:

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Book Review: Twentieth Century Boys, Vol 20: Humanity in the Balance by Naoki Urasawa

Twentieth Century Boys, Vol 20: Humanity in the Balance   

Author: Naoki Urasawa

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: April 17, 2012

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/208 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Yukiji decides to close her dojo, to the dismay of her students. She tells them how proud she is of them and what they have accomplished then leaves them with the words of her hero: If you ever feel your life is in danger, just turn around and run like hell. She meets with Kanna, Yoshitsune, and Otcho, and tells Kanna she knows what she intends to do and she is coming with her. But first she advises her there is someone she needs to speak with first—namely, her mother.  She also says that Maruo is on his way there to find her even now.

Maruo finds himself at an armed checkpoint that is flying a flag with a frog on it? What the heck? Could it be? He requests to be taken to their leader, even though they try to shoot at him, claiming he knows him. And he is right. It’s none other than Keroyon.

In the year 2000, Kiriko has given birth to a beautiful baby girl. Her baby daddy, Fukube, is acting strangely, going out for mysterious reasons. She follows him one night and sees his performance as Friend… and she is concerned. Now, in year 3 of Friendship era,  she wants to atone for what she unwittingly did back then. She has a vaccine she hopes will cure the new virus, but there is only one person she is willing to try it on.

Meanwhile, Kanna, Otcho, and Yukiji have gone to assassinate Friend, whoever he is. But Kanna has her own agenda, which does not involve risking anyone else’s life but hers. She faces down the Friend while Otcho and Yukiji  try to find her. They are confronted by Takasu, who reveals to them that Manjome is dead and they did it. Takasu’s agenda is simple. She wants to be the Holy Mother. Otcho and Yukiji escape, only to find an even greater secret, one that’s sure to play into Friend’s story about aliens coming to destroy them. What in the world is going on here? And what do the evil twins Yabo and Mabo have to do with anything?

We’re getting down to the wire, everything is coming to a head. And all indications point to the pivotal piece of the puzzle being Kenji. He is the one who will save the day. At least, that’s how I see it. He began it, with his Book of Prophecy. It’s only fitting that he be the one to end this madness.

Two more books to go, and then we’ll know all.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 5 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 5     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: March 5, 2019

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga//192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

While on their way to Mt. Natagumo, having been summoned there, Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu find themselves battling a family of spider demons in the forest! Although not actually related, Rui binds the family together through fear because of his desire to be part of a family. The largest spider demon is the father, who acts on orders from his “children”.

As Inosuke faces down the father, Tanjiro tells him to hang in there, he’ll be back as soon as he can. But Inosuke has doubts he will last that along. However assistance arrives from an unexpected source, and Inosuke is impressed by the skill of the newcomer. Tanjiro has problems of his own, though, when his blade breaks.

Rui captures Nezuko and tells Tanjiro he will let him live if he gives up his sister to him. Of course, Tanjiro won’t agree to that. The daughter spider demon sees the relationship between Tanjiro and Nezuko and longs for something like that for herself. Will Tanjiro be able to rescue his sister when the web these demons weave is so very strong?

Another member of the Hashira arrives, Shinobu, who is adorned with butterflies. Admittedly the only Hashira who cannot cut off a demon’s head, she has her own methods of defeating them. Namely through the use of poisons. Shinobu is determined to rid the world of all demons. And she makes no exception for the demon that Tanjiro is protecting. Will she kill Nezuko?

Most of this volume is about the demon spiders and the fight against them, but we do gain two new characters – Shinobu and Tomioka. I liked seeing the backstory of the demons, and how they came to form a “family”. That just goes to reinforce what Tanjiro says about demons all having been human at one time. We also see how Muzan insinuates himself into a situation in order to make new demons.

On an aside, I love the colors of Tanjiro’s outfit, as well as his earrings. I read that patterns from Demon Slayer have now been trademarked.

Another good volume, looking forward to more.

Saturday is Horror Day #31 – Summer of Sam, Candyman (1992)

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Summer of Sam


It’s the summer of 1977, a long hot summer in New York City. Disco fills the air when a series of murders terrifies the inhabits of the city. A serial killer is on the loose, one who uses a .44 caliber weapon. And no one knows where he’ll strike next.

 

 

 

Vinny (John Leguizamo) is a young married hairdresser who loves his wife Dionna (MIra Sorvino). Even so,  Vinny has an eye for the ladies, including his wife’s cousin. When the cousin wants to go home, Vinny graciously offers to drive her, and they end up in carnal knowledge in the car, outside her house. Rudely interrupted by a driver leaning on his car horn, Vinny leaves, not realizing until later that he narrowly avoided becoming a victim of the serial killer.

 

Vinny has a group of friends he hangs around with, including Richie (Adrien Brody), Joey (Michael


Rispoli), Brian (Ken Garito), and Bobby (Brian Tarantina). Richie stands out in this group because of the way he dresses and acts, always reinventing himself. He’s an aspiring punk rock musician, but he leads a secret life that his friends would never understand – he dances in gay bars, and participates in pornos, and has sex with men for money.

 
As more and more people die, with no clues to the killer’s identity, New York is petrified with fear. Rising temperatures only serve to exacerbate the situation. Everyone is on edge and looking at one another askance, even the people they really think they know. How long can this situation go on before something has to give?
 
This film is Spike Lee’s commentary on that summer of 1977, although after an initial outcry from Son of Sam survivors who didn’t want to see the killer glorified, the director turned the film’s focus to the people and their perception of what was going on in their lives. It must have been frightening, to say the least. In the film, women began to wear blonde wigs, since it seemed he was targeting long haired brunettes. John Leguizamo is wonderful as Vinny. I’ve always liked him and think he is underrated as an actor. Adrien Brody, who I admit haven’t seen very much of, excels as Richie, who marches to the beat of his own drummer, and who becomes the brunt of his friends’ anxiety-fueled suspicions.
 
Just a side note, but look for a couple members of the Sopranos cast here – Michael Rispoli, who played Jackie Aprile, and Michael Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti, and was one of the writers of Summer of Sam, besides playing a character named Midnite. I will say that although a good film, it could have been tightened a little bit and did drag a little at times. It ran almost two and a half hours. But it was worth it. Interesting glimpses of David Berkowitz. I think the film captured the feel of that summer pretty well. I’ll give it a solid 4 Stars.

 

Candyman (1992)


Grad student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) and her friend Bernadette Walsh (Kasi Lemmons) are working on a joint thesis involving urban legends. To her dismay, she learns that her professor husband Trevor (Xander Berkeley) has been lecturing on that very topic to his students, despite her request that he not do so. But then Trevor seems to do as he wants, despite the fact that Helen is very devoted to him. When she drops in on his lecture unexpectedly, she senses a little something something between Trevor and a student named Stacy. A something Trevor is quick to deny.

Helen runs across a story of a man known as the Candyman, who has a hook where his hand should be, and terrorizes people to this day. According to legend, he can be summoned by looking into a mirror and repeating his name five times, which Helen does, although nothing happens. Deciding to delve into this myth, Helen discovers that the projects where Candyman is said to have been seen is a mirror to the apartment building she lives in. The difference, other than economics, is that a woman died n the projects, supposedly at the hands of the Candyman.

 
 

Being rather outspoken and bold, Helen persuades Bernadette that they need to investigate this new 


lead, despite the fact that these projects are more than a little dangerous. This fact is emphasized by the harassment they receive on their arrival. It doesn’t help that they are dressed like cops. Once inside, they find the empty apartment and look around in the hallway first, photographing some of the colorful graffiti that lines the walls, such as Sweets to the Sweet. Helen insists on looking behind the bathroom mirror. Against Bernadette’s advice, she enters the next apartment. Did she just see something?

 

The two women are caught red-handed in the apartment by a young mother Anne-Marie (Vanessa Williams) who lives next door. Helen takes advantage of this to question her. On returning later, she meets a young boy named Jake (DeJuan Guy) who is frightened of the Candyman, and doesn’t want to get into trouble with him.

About this time everything begins to go wrong. After an encounter with the Candyman in the parking garage, Helen finds herself in Anne-Marie’s apartment, covered in blood, next to the severed head of a dog. And the baby is missing! Anne-Marie is screaming at Helen, who has picked up a knife from the floor, and that’s what the police see when they break in.

Now that she has been labeled as not only a killer but crazy, who will ever believe that the Candyman is real?

I took a class on urban legends a few years ago (it was a fascinating class and actually fulfilled a requirement. Where else can you get to read and watch The Exorcist for college credit?) As I watched this, I wondered if Candyman was a variation on the urban legend of the Hook Man?. Just a thought.

At any rate, the theme of this film is definitely urban legends, in particular Candyman.  Candyman’s story is a tragic one. He was condemned for his relationship with a white woman, his hand cut off, then tortured and killed. Now he only cares about killing, and being feared by people, lest he cease to exist. 

The premise is interesting, but I wasn’t  overly impressed with Virginia Madsen in the lead role of Helen. In fact, she often got on my nerves with her limited range of expressions and emotions. And why is it that people, when they come upon a murder scene, insist on picking up the murder weapon?  Seriously? The best thing about the film is Candyman, played by Tony Todd. He is elegant and menacing, evil and yet almost human and it’s hard not to feel sorry for what happened to him, even though he takes revenge to a whole new level.


There is a second Candyman movie that came out this year, done by Jordan Peele, also starring Tony Todd. In this version, the baby is grown up, and I am guessing that Candyman enters his life somehow, maybe through his mother. Should be interesting. I recommend watching this one first, and I’ll give it a solid 3 Stars.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 4 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 4     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: January 1, 2019

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga//192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Zenitsu awakens to find himself outside of the house of monsters, with no memory of what happened or how he got there. He’s too grateful to question that, though. Until the guy with the boar’s head comes charging out, exclaims he smells demon, and heads straight for Tanjiro’s box! What else can Zenitsu do but defend it, because this is more precious than life to Tanjiro, no matter the cost? Tanjiro himself arrives just in time to defend the battered Zenitsu from being beaten any further. Turns out the guy with the boar’s head is Inosuke, and he’s a Demon Slayer too.

Tanjiro’s crow arrives and leads the three Demon Slayers to the house of the Fuji Family, who have a wisteria crest, where they can heal. In the middle of the night, Zenitsu is upset to find that Tanjiro’s box seems to be moving. When Nezuko comes out, Zenitsu becomes angry because Tanjiro’s been keeping this cute girl all to himself!

Once healed, the three receive an urgent summons. They must head to Mount Natagumo as soon as possible. En route, they run across another member of the Demon Slayer Corps, who seems to be badly injured, and begs for their help. Suddenly, the young man is picked up and pulled back into the forest. Tanjiro and Inosuke decide to go in after him, while Zenitsu waits for them. They meet another member of the Corps who is disappointed to see them since they are such low level Slayers. He explains that he is part of a group of ten Hashira level slayers who, once they arrived at this place, began to kill one another! They have all fallen under the spell of a powerful Demon!

It seems that some of the Slayers have become hideous hybrid spider creatures! And the demons who are doing this to them are part of some evil Family. How will Tanjiro and Inosuke combat them if they get caught up in their spider strands?

This volume of Demon Slayer finds the boys getting into trouble while on the way to Mount Natagumo. This family of demons is very creepy, and a great challenge to both Tanjiro and Inosuke. It will be interesting to see how they fight their way out. I love how Zenitsu has become totally devoted to Nezuko (even though he knows she is a demon). We get a little of his back story in this volume, and I have to admit I like him better than I did before, especially when he’s sleeping lol. The jury is still out on Inosuke, although I might change my mind about him later, but as of right now, he’s given me no reason to and I find him very annoying. Not much of Nezuko this time, but hopefully more in the next volume.

Looking forward to the next one!