The Weirdest Flicks That Fell Through the Cracks

by Bob Freville

Here at the Motorist, our Films That Fell Through the Cracks column has covered a number of movies that might have become cult classics if they hadn’t vanished before they had a chance to penetrate the pop culture consciousness.

Those titles have included flicks about a killer in a bunny mask, a creepy farmer and homophobic preppie murderers, among others. All of these movies are peculiar in their own ways, but today I’d like to take a look at some of the strangest flicks to ever disappear faster than a fart in a cyclone.

The following are some of the weirdest and most wonderful anti-classics to ever come out of the mainstream machine. To see the big studio logos at the head of these movies leaves one completely astonished, not just at Hollywood’s involvement in their productions but at why such entities would even bother with things that were far too bizarre for them to be able to properly market.

To be clear, these are not the kinds of movies that loan themselves to multiplex movie posters. And, yet, here they are, sterling testaments to the gnarly reality that some films are too weird to live and too rare to be relegated to development Hell.

Read ’em and weep at the foregone conclusion that such pictures could never be made today.

A DIRTY SHAME (2004, Fine Line/New Line Cinema)

John Waters fans certainly wouldn’t find the plot of A Dirty Shame to be all that shocking. Given the so-called Pope of Trash’s track record for larger-than-life characters and overall bad taste, it was a no-brainer that this one would be perverse and absurd.

After all, nothing could really out-yuck Waters’ legendary singing sphincter scene from Pink Flamingos. But that doesn’t negate the fact that A Dirty Shame was released by New Line Cinema at a time when the distributor was in financial straits.

Why they would get behind a sex comedy that served as a vehicle for the mindbogglingly mismatched Tracy Ullman and Johnny Knoxville is anyone’s guess. It’s hard to imagine the same executives who signed off on the Lord of the Rings acquiring a picture about a housewife who becomes a sex maniac after suffering a concussion.

To make matters more bizarre, the film’s risque content, which includes a sequence in which Emmy award-winner Ullman inserts a bottle into her vagina during a game of hokey pokey, required so many cuts to allude an NC-17 rating that the studio agreed to release two versions on DVD—the Neuter (read: R rated) Version and the theatrical NC-17 cut, respectively.

Standout Sequence: The Pussy Cat Song scene.

FREAKED (1993, 20th Century Fox)

At the heart of Freaked is the nefarious mad scientist Elijah C. Skuggs and the group of strangers he’s turned into hideous mutant freaks. But the real monsters in this off-the-wall satire aren’t the sideshow freaks or their batshit creator but a corporate collective known as E.E.S. or…Everything Except Shoes.

The E.E.S. brass want to reinvent their image in the wake of news reports about their chemicals being dangerous to the environment, so they pay an obnoxious washed-up TV star named Ricky Coogan five million big ones to visit their factory HQ in Santa Flan (“Santa ‘Flan’? What kind of a shitty name for a country is that?” “It is named for the patron saint of creamy desserts.”).

If that sounds ludicrous you haven’t seen nothing yet; Freaked is chock-a-block with silly, strange and idiosyncratic sights and sounds, the likes of which include an unrecognizable Keanu Reeves as Ortiz the Dog Boy, an old Rotarian in Coke bottle glasses wandering around with an “I Like Ike” sign (for no apparent reason) and yes, a giant mutant shoe.

And how weird is this? Turns out the first draft of the script, then entitled Hideous Mutant Freekz and intended to be a hardcore horror movie, was originally developed by co-directors Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston, Esq of Bill & Ted fame) and Tom Stern (Winter’s Idiot Box collaborator) along with Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes.

At some point the rather straight-forward concept the three conceived of morphed into a B-movie inspired black comedy brimming with hideous celebrity cameos, outlandish sight gags and indelible lines like “To the right of the aircraft, you can see a great view of the Grand Canyon. And to the left you can see a panic-stricken little troll.”

Standout Sequence: Ricky Coogan (Winter) goes full beast mode, tearing a corporate executives head off as green toxic chemicals squirt from a pustule on his mutated forehead.

HUDSON HAWK (1991, TriStar Pictures)

In today’s post-9/11, post-Tarantino world, it would be easy to see a movie like this doing well, but when it was first dropped on an unsuspecting public back at the advent of the Nineties, no one knew what to make of it.

Equal parts live action Roadrunner cartoon and slapstick social justice warrior comedy, Hudson Hawk is like five different flicks all rolled into one. For Die Hard fans, Bruce Willis returned to the screen brimming with witty asides and action hero moves. Only there was something markedly different about Eddie “Hudson Hawk” Hawkins compared to Die Hard‘s John McClane.

Hudson Hawk isn’t a cop or a good guy, rather he’s a smooth-talking cat burglar with a yen for pork pie hats, black dusters, Bing Crosby and cappucino. In lesser hands, the character might have seemed a little fey, but this wasn’t the crinkly Mr. Potato Head Willis that we’ve grown accustomed to in the new millennium. This was old school Bruce, the man who could make mayhem funny and mocha lattes seem macho.

I’ve met lots of people familiar with the Bruce Willis body of work and only one of them—besides myself—counts this among his crowning achievements. At the time of its release, it flopped harder than a flounder in a drought. The convoluted plot, bugfuck humor and steampunk set pieces were decades before their time.

Add the hatchet-faced Sandra Bernhard and Withnail & I‘s Richard E. Grant as the serpentine villains at the dark heart of the flick and you’ve got a baffling witch’s brew on your hands. Of all the curious choices Willis has made over the years, whether we’re talking about his toupee-wearing turn in Breakfast of Champions or his affectatious performance as a drunken lech in Four Rooms, this one remains his absolute weirdest.

Standout Sequence: The ambulance scene.

I HEART HUCKABEES (2004, Fox Searchlight)

Technically this one didn’t fall through the cracks so much as paint itself into a corner of bemused notoriety. In the wake of Three Kings‘ massive critical and box office success, director David O. Russell could have made any kind of movie he wanted, likely at any budgetary level.

That he chose to make a mid-budget studio indie about existentialism and celebrity is almost as insanely admirable as it is laughably inane. The pic, which tells the story of an idealistic environmentalist (Jason Schwartzman) who hires “existential detectives” (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) to investigate corporate malfeasance, is a rather airy-fairy indictment of corporate America and the male ego.

This is fitting considering the mind from which it sprang. David O. Russell may be known for many things, debuting with an incest flick called Spanking the Monkey chief among them, but more than anything he’s known for his massive sense of self-importance.

Today audiences don’t remember the movie so much as they do the infamous behind-the-scenes YouTube clip of director Russell flipping out on set. In the footage, veteran comedic actress Tomlin inquires about her character’s motivation, explaining that she doesn’t understand the material. Russell responds by pitching a fit and calling the screen icon a cunt.

If the clip in question sounds cringe-worthy just wait until you check out this meandering 106 minute philosophical cluster fuck.

Standout Sequence: Mud fucking with Isabelle Hubbert’s nihilist siren.

SOUTHLAND TALES (2006, Samuel Goldwyn)


Far and away the strangest movie on this list, Richard Kelly’s follow-up to the sleeper smash Donnie Darko is a lot of things…for not a lot of people. Like many of the greatest examples of auteur filmmaking, Southland Tales is, first and foremost, a film for its director. To say that this sprawling genre-defying exercise in extremes is self-indulgent is like saying Idi Amin had a little bit of a temper.

From copulating cars and neo-Marxist nutjobs to levitating ice cream trucks and a baby messiah whose farts can make the world literally quake, Kelly’s sophomore effort is nothing if not weird.

How weird?

Consider this: The intricate plot, which largely takes place within a Tangent Universe, is based loosely on the Book of Revelation. Its characters quote liberally from the poems of T.S. Eliot and Robert Frost, and the passages of the New Testament.

Given how hesitant the studio system is to take risks on original material, it’s hard to believe that someone at Samuel Goldwyn was all in on distributing a movie featuring a baby savior who’s never had a bowel movement, a Republican leading man who injects himself in the neck with “Fluid Karma” and a porn star psychic who emerges as the prophet of the End Times.

Standout Sequence: Justin Timberlake’s Pilot Abilene, a facially-scarred war veteran and turret gunner, guzzling white trash beer from the can and lip-syncing to The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done” while blood pours from his chest and USO girls shake their legs atop skeet ball machines. Weird, weird, weird and wonderful.

Vanity At Its Best or Worst: The Con is On – Film Review

The Con is On (2018, Lionsgate)

Review by Bob Freville

The term “vanity project” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s something that is normally applied to an art form attempted by a novice who is foreign to the field in question. When you hear that a sitcom actor like Charlie Sheen has put out a poetry collection or that a former child star like Corey Feldman is releasing a new album, these exercises loan themselves to the term.

What one doesn’t expect is to encounter a vanity project that exists within the sphere of that person’s area of expertise. And, yet, here I find myself gearing up to tell you all about a film populated by experienced actors and directed by a filmmaker with at least one previous feature under his belt.

I’m talkin’ The Con is On, formerly titled The Brits Are Coming, a 2018 heist movie that finds international talent of the highest caliber (Tim Roth, Uma Thurman, Stephen Fry, Parker Posey, Crispin Glover, Alice Eve, and so forth) having a blast with some of the most giddily absurd characters to ever sully the screen.

The plot is hopelessly convoluted, the pace is obstinately sluggish, and the characters’ motivations and morals are all but completely undeveloped. From a storytelling or film-making standpoint, The Con is On is a near-complete failure…unless you consider the very real possibility that the whole thing was a joke from the start.

When I think of the vanity project, my mind usually goes to the examples that James Franco has given us, diverse hit-or-miss entries into a determinedly varied canon of work. Franco is, without question, the best paradigm of the vanity artist as his works occur across a multitude of disciplines (paintings, poetry, films, novels, installations, music, et al.). Some of them are good, some of them are bad, but each is alive with their creator’s very obvious passion.

In other words, these are sincere attempts at an outpouring of creativity. They come from an impulse of the imagination, for good or ill. By contrast, The Con is On feels like it was engineered to be a vehicle for a group of actors tired of taking themselves seriously. It serves as little more than an excuse for them to shack up at the Chateau Marmont and have an extended on-screen (and off-screen?) bacchanalia.

Ostensibly James Oakley’s film is a heist comedy about two alcoholic crooks who flee to LA from their native England to avoid paying a debt they owe to a ruthless mobster. Once they’ve landed in sunny California, they hatch a plan to steal a ring worth several million dollars from the male crook (Tim Roth)’s ex-wife, a vapid and sex-starved Hollywood actress (Alice Eve) who’s fed up with her lecherous fiance (Crispin Glover).

That’s where the plot and the character development stop making sense…if they ever made any sense at all. All of the roles are hilariously miscast, but somehow they work perfectly when one accepts that this is not a heist movie so much as it is some drugged out foreigner’s idea of what a modern screwball comedy would look like through the hazy lens of a vacuous Hollywood celebrity lifestyle.

Roth is in top form as the drunken male crook who drinks an impossible amount of hard liquor in damn near every scene. Slumping, lurching and slurring his lines around every corner, often while screwing his face up into hideous and inexplicable expressions, Roth serves as the audience member’s on-screen surrogate. He seems as perplexed as we are that this entire affair is actually allowed to play out.

Parker Posey plays an unhinged personal assistant to Crispin Glover’s greasy auteur filmmaker, often hurling herself face first onto the massive staircase of the Hollywood couple’s mansion or stuffing her face in frosted cake. It is clear that she’s having a lot of fun playing crazy, but the reasons for this hysteria and her improbable pseudo-seduction of Roth’s character are never properly revealed.

Why she would malinger and obsess over a self-possessed adulterer who is already banging the equally unhinged Sofia Vergara is opaque at best and stupid at worst. This is just one of the script’s many handicaps.

As a work of cinematic art, The Con is On is terrible, but as an example of the anarchic spirit of so-called independent film it is a true paragon. Few films so openly relish the opportunity to waste other people’s money on a frivolous exercise in orgiastic scenery chewing.

Perhaps this film has the power to obliterate the term vanity project since vanity implies a certain sense of conceitedness on the artist’s part; it would take a generous amount of delusion to think that this film makes them look good. That, I think, may be the point they were after with this entire endeavor—to thumb their noses at the idea of Hollywood celebrities having to be pretty. Surely, their manic physicality and facial contortions are anything but.

To be sure, The Con is On is not a good movie…unless you get a kick out of the idea of Sofia Vergara begging the gargoyle-ish Glover to fuck her in the hyena-like voice that made her a Modern Family mainstay. It’s a picture by and for industry insiders who understand the imbecilic nature of the rather incestuous film world and its major players.

It’s also a film for the kind of freaks who can get a fine chuckle out of Ionesco-worthy lines like, “Anyone who thinks a non-military grade rappeling cable can support the weight of two grown men and a miniature donkey deserves to fall off a cliff.”

What this vanity pic proves is that it is still possible for actors to play in the ball pit while flipping their agents the bird. After all, they’ve earned it by embarrassing themselves in enough equally egregious mainstream blockbusters. They should at least be able to embarrass themselves on their own terms. It’s high time they get to enjoy some cocktails and have some real fun.

A Musical Stroke

by JL Mayne

Have you ever seen anyone who has had a severe stroke? Part of their brain starts dying. They lie there, staring at you, wondering what in the hell is going on inside of their head. Part of them tries to talk to you, but all that comes out is a jumble of words and maybe a bit of spittle. You, the outsider, don’t know what is going on either. You watch in agony as they are in agony, trying to make sense of it all.

You watch as the doctor comes into the room and tells you that this nightmare is going to require surgery, and that the surgery needed requires a specialist. You watch as the doctor walks away, and you wonder why they are walking away, you wonder why they aren’t on the phone that very instant, getting that specialist here so that everything can be ok. So that your father can be fixed, so that the miracle of science and medicine can meld into one and repair whatever it is that’s broken.

After it’s all done, after that specialist finally arrives and drills a hole into the side of their head, relieving the pressure, fixing what can be fixed. Now that eighteen hours have passed and the damage is more than it should have been, and you wonder why in the hell they weren’t there, why they couldn’t have been bothered to come sooner. After all, isn’t that their job? Their job to be there? To fix?

Now you cope.

I’ve been in a bad mood the last few days. I’ve heard that men’s hormones can cycle the same as women’s and right now I’m wondering if it’s my time of the month. I’m wondering if I’m just looking for things to be upset about because those chemicals racing in my brain don’t know how to make sense of anything at the moment.

I usually listen to an audiobook on my commute to and from work. Currently It’s book 11 of The Wheel of Time. The heroes just got done decimating a horde of monsters with fire, lightning, and one way gateways to the abyss for the monsters passing through. Perfect for my mood.

On my way home today, I didn’t feel like listening to the drone of the narrator. I blasted Infected Mushroom. A nice balance of rock and electronic with heavy bass. My subwoofer pummels the music into my body, making me feel it. I scream the lyrics, nonsensical noises forcing their way past my vocal cords for the parts I don’t know.

And I love it.

Growing up, I listened to whatever my friends were, or whatever my dad was. He lived and breathed music. It was his gateway drug. He listened to everything from Enya to Black Sabbath. For a picture once, he had the kids all scowl around a rock, crossing our arms and making the devil horns with our pinkies and index fingers like DIO.

He had a poster in his room of the DIO devil standing over a child’s bed, posing the same way we did in our picture. Tentacles slithered from under the bed and other monsters riddled the room while the child slept. My dad always said the devil in the background was actually an angel, watching over the child, making sure that she slept well. She looked a lot like my younger sister.

He used to stay up all night playing his guitar to the sultry sounds of his goth metal. Gothminister, Switchblade Symphony and others. For a time he even wrote songs. A surprise for some of us, and a release for him.

When people would ask, I would tell them I listened to all kinds of music. Then I’d remember country. I was never a big fan of country, but a few bands and songwriters were ok; Johnny Cash, but who doesn’t like him?

I mostly listened to 90’s and early 2000’s punk rock like Blink 182, Yellowcard, and any other band my friends were listening to. We’d stay up late talking about the music and burning CDs for each other of whatever new punk band we could get our hands on. My friend used to tease me about being just like the wannabe in the song Pretty Fly by the Offspring. And I loved it. And I’d listen to the bands my dad did. Rammstein, and Gary Numan. Man did Gary change over the years.

I’d listen to songs when I had a crush on a girl and just wanted to think about her. Imagining my teen self with whatever girl I decided I liked at the moment. I’d listen when my dad was a particularly exceptional douche. And then I’d fall to sleep listening to the tapes of Enya he made for me. Fall asleep the next night listening to the opposite side of the same tape, switch the tape to another Enya album he’d copied, flip it, rinse, and repeat.

I got the call after my dad was already in the hospital. I was at home with my wife, my now adult brain didn’t know what to do and went into auto pilot. I called my boss and told him I wouldn’t be in for a day or two. I drove to the hospital and found my siblings all sitting in the stiff-cushioned chairs of the waiting room. They told me what had happened, that they were all at my grandmother’s where my dad also lived. They sat on the couch waiting for him to come downstairs.

When he finally did, he couldn’t talk. He just groaned and fell onto his face in the couch cushions, drooling and trying to make sense of it all while the ambulance sped to pick him up.

I sat with him in the hospital, lying to him and to myself that it would all be ok. That they’d fix him.

He lived. The specialist finally got there and fixed him best he could. He was paralyzed on his right side. He moved to a nursing home where he would live for the next two years.

I’d visit when I could, taking my wife and my new son. Forcing my kid to give his grandpa a hug even though my tiny monster didn’t want to, even though his grandfather was now stuck in permanent grumpy-ass mode.

After a while, after we realized that he didn’t have the will or strength to get better, we started to accept it. I tried not to. I gathered up all of his old CDs and spent hours putting them onto an MP3 player so that he could listen to them. So that he could have some semblance of normality within the white walls of his room.

I got the songs ready and took them to him, and he yelled.

All it does is piss me off! Piss me off, PISS ME OFF!”

I took the songs with me when I left.

I didn’t go back as often after that. Almost never as it wasn’t often to begin with. That was the real point I knew he’d die there. He had even given up on his music.

Two years after he entered the double doors of the home, I got a call saying he didn’t have long to live. I drove to see him.

Another death came, an unexpected one. Another close relative in that awful place. Right next door to my father.

My siblings and I stood in my father’s room. He could no longer talk. We didn’t know if he knew we were there.

My brothers and sisters, grandmother and aunt went home and I sat; sleeping and watching him, occasionally talking to him. I breathed in the stink and listened to him struggle for breath.

The nurse came in and asked if I wanted him to take some morphine. We both knew it would kill him faster, but he’d die in less pain, he’d die with that slight high the morphine drip provided.

I nodded my head and she gave it to him.

I held his sweat-drenched hand, telling him it would be ok. I watched as his breath slowed, and he finally took those last gasping breaths, whispering to him that it would all be ok.

I still listen to that music. Still reminisce the nights I’d fall asleep listening to Enya. I still have his copy of Birthday Massacre, and all of the CDs he made of his own. The songs he poured his heart and soul into. I still search for new music I can listen to, and love, and scream at the top of my lungs.

And I love it.

Kindle Crack: Killer Deals on Ebooks by Nick Mamatas, Brian Evenson, David Foster Wallace, and More!


Kindle Crack is back with more Nick Mamatas! Night Shade Books’ I Am Providence just peaked bestseller status in horror comedy on Amazon, so there’s no doubt that you need to be there hitting “Buy now with 1-Click” STAT. This is simply pure deliciousness.

No Kindle Crack feels complete without a Brian Evenson sale. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Last Days is goddamned brilliant, so if you haven’t snagged it from any of the previous posts, for the love of sweet baby Jesus do so now. If you’re a fan of weird fiction, this is definitely for you.

“Demchuk gracefully pieces together a dark and shining mosaic of a story with unforgettable imagery and elegant, evocative prose. These stories read like beautiful and brutal nightmares, sharply disquieting, and are made all the more terrifying by the history in which they’re grounded.” ―Publishers Weekly

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Snag it while it’s cheap!

David Foster Wallace, as you probably know, has nothing to do with horror. He’s one of my favorite weird writers, though, and his books almost NEVER go on sale for Kindle. A Supposedly Fun Thing is an excellent collection of his nonfiction work, and one of my favorite books by him. If you love him, you already have this; if you’re curious, what an excellent opportunity to get familiar without shelling out the big bucks!

I admit, I’m not a big Nabby fan–Lolita was revolting and Pale Fire seemed plagued by an unbearable protagonist that I really couldn’t bring myself to tolerate in past readings. This books is certainly weird, nevertheless, and readers swear by it. I’ll probably give it another go, now that I can do so for less than four bucks. Who am I to interfere with a great sale, after all?

The Stay-Awake Men & Other Unstable Entities is a glorious gem from one of the most beloved names in weird horror. If you haven’t gotten around to Bartlett yet and you love weird fiction, this is a fine place to begin. All of Bartlett’s Kindle titles are very reasonably priced, so let his appearance here represent a much-deserved nod to a great weird fiction writer who keeps things consistently compatible with your bank account. Also, while you’re here, why not check out our interview with the man himself?

It’s a little pricier than our usual Kindle steals, but here, your money goes to a good cause. Planet X’s 32 White Horses on a Vermillion Hill is a charity anthology designed to support beloved weird author Christopher Ropes’ in his attempt to get dental work. A whole slew of well-known weird authors appear here, and both volumes promise to be worth the price (which is still under five bucks–not bad at all, folks).

The Unreprinted: Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Dealers by Jeffrey Thomas

Welcome back to Ben Arzate’s The Unreprinted, a column exploring rare and/or out-of-print books that have left a lasting impression on readers. Today, author Zakary McGaha takes a look at Jeffrey Thomas’s entry in the Black Flame series of Nightmare on Elm Street tie-ins.

by Zakary McGaha

The Black Flame line of books holds its own, special exhibit in the History of Horror Fiction Museum. Never before has there been a publisher that was, in essence, dedicated to publishing tie-ins and novelizations for beloved horror films; this was Black Flame’s niche. They did a couple other things, but horror tie-ins were their bread and butter.

As far as I know, none of the Black Flame titles has been reprinted, which explains the outrageous price people are asking for them online. Every now and then, you’ll come across a cheap copy. I’ve been extremely lucky in that it’s happened to me several times. So far, I’ve collected two Friday the 13th books (along with one in their exclusive Jason X series), two Nightmare on Elm Street books, the Snakes on a Plane novelization, as well as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake novelization. The latter I gave away because it was complete shit.

I’ve decided Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Dealers by Jeffrey Thomas was worthy of a review. It’s the most recent one I’ve read, so it’s the freshest in my mind.

Long story short: if you’re a NOES fan, you’ll love this book. It has everything you could possibly want in a book about ole Freddy. The plot revolves around some completely impossible, revolutionary technology of the early 2000s: dreams can be recorded and played back like virtual reality movies. One tiny problem exists with this, though: rogue developers!

One of the main characters happens to work for a company that, for some reason, is studying the brains of several murder victims who were all killed in Springwood, OH. Said individual feels that it would be awesome if he could borrow the dreams taken from these brains for commercial use at his other job, a company that deals in the dream-disc business.

That’s where Freddy comes in. Like always, the people of Springwood have completely forgotten him, so he’s got to jog their memories in order to build up his slasherific powers. Lucky for him, he doesn’t have to try hard sine he’s in the dream-discs taken from all the murder victims…because, yeah, he was their murderer.

The greatness of this premise lies in the novelty of the possibilities granted by the technology. If the discs were sold, victims could potentially put themselves in Freddy’s territory willingly, thus making Freddy’s life akin to a buffet of bodies.

Great imagination on Jeffrey Thomas’s part is shown in the multitude of dream sequences. From Roman coliseums full of black birds and skeletons to convenience stores being hijacked by Lovecraftian creatures, this single book has the coolest dreams of anything in the franchise…in my opinion.

I hate to say it, because I like books more than movies, but this book should seriously be adapted. If it were, it’d be the best in the franchise, hands down.

Thomas’s writing style services the story, it’s neither flashy nor dull; it’s like the middle bowl of porridge (or was it oatmeal?). He’s able to evenly pace the suspense, kills, etc. This very well may be the most expertly crafted tie-in novel I’ve read.

If one were to consider the current direction the franchise is going (the direction to nowhere) then this book could greatly fill the void. It doesn’t take place at any specific point in the timeline, although it can be assumed it takes place after Freddy vs. Jason. In that way, it’s perfect: it doesn’t have to be viewed in any canon sequence. It’s simply another one of Freddy’s whacky adventures, which is what most fans want. It also exists after an unspecified length of time in which Freddy has been quiet.

This book doesn’t have much in the way of themes or meaning. It’s just a fun, well-done slasher; it’s escapism at its best. It doesn’t lecture us about futuristic technologies and it doesn’t portray Freddy as anything more than a psychopathic goofball. Most importantly, it doesn’t have Jason in it. Slashers are best solo (change my mind).

I give Nightmare on Elms Street: The Dream Dealers 4 stars out of 5 instead of a full 5 ONLY because it was a bit too long. This was probably a requirement by the publisher, seeing as how all the Black Flame books are ultra-thick.

I plan to review all the other Black Flame books I own here and elsewhere in due time. If you have one of them sitting on your shelf collecting dust, don’t hesitate to send it my way. I promise to give it back; I’ll also be your friend forever.

Zakary McGaha is a writer living in Tennessee. He loves books, dogs, and horror films. His novella Locker Arms is available from Kensington Gore Publishing. Soothing the Savage Swamp Beast is forthcoming from JournalStone.