You probably know Maria Olsen as the casting director from the fabulous Starry Eyes...or maybe as the Fury from Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. If you don't know her, you will because her IMDB page is simply one of the busiest I have seen and her MOnsterWorks66 production company ,who teamed with ACH Reunion for this film, is cranking out product like a wood chipper cranks out blood and bone fragments: in bulk.
So when she asked if I would review REUNION (lil' ol' me?) of course I was excited.
Thanks Maria for the screener and for the opportunity.
And Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Peter McNichol.....
I'm a writer, but I don't do fan fiction. At least I haven't since I was about twelve and I wrote a sequel to John Carpenter's Halloween. I think Halloween 2 and 3 were out by then. It didn't matter, the story was shit and I didn't care. I was just writing.
In contrast, I have long wanted a third Ghostbusters...and even though I'm almost 43 now, I had to write this just for me. So if it sucks, I'll own it.
I'm not going to bemoan the sequel that is in the works. I'm not happy about it, but it isn't for me. That's my problem. It's not for the fans. It's for the money. I hope the new flick rocks and brings in a new generation of fans...but just in case there's a chance, here's what I'm thinking...call it a first draft...
Logo by Rutherford.
The version I want to see.
Fan Fiction by Dan Dillard
EXT. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, SMITHSONIAN -
TITLE: Fourth of July, 2004
The crowd is thick with interested visitors trying to see the
entrance to the museum. Barricades and police keep them back.
A REPORTER stands next to one of many white news vans, ready
to deliver the story. A CAMERAMAN points his rig at her as a
cigarette dangles from his mouth.
Think you could put that out?
The cameraman peeks around his viewfinder, hating the woman.
I hate doing film reviews. I find things I like about movies and things I don't like about movies. The takeaway here is this: making movies is hard. Anyone that pulls off a feature length film gets my respect, even for the worst of films. So this may sound review-ish, but it's more of one dude's opinion and shouldn't affect yours.
That said, a movie like Jurassic World was going to happen. I mean, if the entire crew (and it's a huge crew) had quit, the studios would've found another crew and pressed on. And most times when you toss the GNP of many small countries at a project, the end result will be something. At least it will be a professional looking piece when all is said and done.
So, I applied some odd thoughts to Jurassic World. I went in thinking, okay, take away the budget. Take away the glam and the sexy outer coating. What's left?
I've written four collections, been included in a load of anthologies, web journals, blogs, horror mags, and now...I've finished my sixth novel. This is the one I'm most proud of. Maybe it's because it's about one of my hometowns. Maybe it's because this one is particularly wicked and has a high body count. Maybe it's because I just like the story.
Whatever it is, 'DIG' is here and what good is that if you aren't reading it? Go get a copy. E-books are available. Paperback coming in the next few weeks.
Twenty-one years ago I had about a thousand dollars to my name and I wanted a motorcycle. How I ended up with a parrot is anybody's guess, but in hindsight it was probably a better idea. I'm clumsy and I don't always think through my decisions. Come to think of it, buying a parrot might not have been a wise choice for a twenty-one year old kid either, but I like animals better than I do people. Still, it's a long term commitment. Any pet is a commitment, but parrots live...like forever. At least that's what I thought.
I worked in a pet store back then. A single guy with no real aspirations except to get my next paycheck so I could make rent, my main job was taking care of marine fish and birds. When the motorcycle deal fell through, I decided I wanted a bird of my own. I already had a cockatiel and we were chums, so what trouble could one more be? Lots as it turned out. The second bird turned out to be my oldest friend, and the longest relationship I've had in my life outside of immediate family.
What’s HEADLESS, you ask? It’s one of those boy-raised-in-a-cage-like-a-dog-and-fed-blood-so-he-grows-up-and-kills-people-and-has-sex-with-their-heads-while-he-fantasizes-about-a-weird-sister-creature-thing
stories. Yeah, that old trope. It’s heartwarming really.
So, my oldest child has POTS. It's not a joke about Colorado, nor is it something from an old Cheech and Chong movie.
Not these either.
I wish it was. It stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, which when you break it down seems simple:
Postural --depending on her posture. Orthostatic --related to standing upright. Tachycardia --relative rapid heart action whether physiological (post exercise) or pathological. Syndrome -- A disease that encompasses a particular group of symptoms.
In other words, when she stands up, her heart rate might increase 40 bpm.
Sometimes, you have to write a book about your hometown...and in that book you have to destroy everything and let it rebuild itself. It's fun. Here's chapter one. The rest of the book will be along shortly. I have to finish the editing first.
Cover is concept only.
sun was hot by 9:00 am and there was already a thick, soupy quality to the air.
Loretta stretched to ease a hitch in her back. Dark patches of sweat grew in
the armpits of her brown, PEACE t-shirt and on the waistband of her gray Capri pants. It had begun to run,
dripping into places she didn’t like to mention. A woman who never married, who
was never loved by anyone but her father, and who never grew close enough to a friend,
lover or otherwise to have such discussions. She didn’t even speak of those
things with her own doctor if it could be helped.
Loretta Gates worked for thirty years in
a textile mill that sat on the west bank of the Cape Fear River and retired at
age fifty-six. She had lived in the same hulking, pine-log house outside of the
small port town of Smithville, NC since she was born. Her mother passed when
she was still in grade school. Her father when she was thirty-five, back in 1977.
Since then, she’d lived alone. She was accustomed to it and she liked it that
Did you ever have a
thought so sinister, you just couldn’t share it with people? Not me...
THE REST OF THE YEAR
By Dan Dillard
Rain pitter-pattered on
the rooftops of all the houses in the small town of Bloomington, Indiana. The noise
might have reminded a person of the light footsteps of a small dog—its toenails
in need of a clip—tapping happily across a hardwood floor. The sun had gone
down hours before. It was unseasonably warm there in the dark. The trusses
groaned underneath the old man’s weight and he paused for a moment before
His reindeer stood
stoic and quiet, well-trained over the centuries to do as they were instructed.
They were grey with age, but thick with muscles, and covered in scars from many
a close call ducking in under cover of night, and escaping the eyes of third
shift workers and the naughty children who peek. Jagged antlers poked out from
their heads, most of them broken. Not quite the show animals from books and
The crimson sack
clutched in his vice-like, black-gloved hand, he dropped down through the large
chimney landing in the open fireplace with a thud. He paused, waiting for
hushed gasps and whispers, a growling dog, the jingle of a collar or for a light
to flicker on somewhere in the home, but none did. All was quiet. Not a
creature stirred. A smirk peeled across his bearded chin. One more step,
ducking out of the fireplace, and he looked around, his smirk widening into a
On the wall, there was
a panel with glowing buttons. An alarm. Santa pulled off his glove and held his
hand up to the box. He concentrated, closing his eyes. After a moment, the state
changed from ARMED to SYSTEM IS READY
expensive tastes. It was a good house he had chosen. He tipped his stocking cap
back on his balding head, the little white ball of fluff dangling down between
his shoulder blades. A much thinner man than the world envisioned stood in that
living room and surveyed the lay of the land. The kitchen was to the
left and that was always his first stop.
It has been a while since I've done a flash fiction piece for the blog... So here goes. Keep ahead of the pain, folks. Don't let it control you.
It’s a toothache. Or perhaps the pain is coming from
somewhere in my jaw, beneath or between the teeth. Either way it throbs and makes
me see shades of orange and red. That whole side of my face feels like it is
slowly being inflated, bone pushing against meat pushing against the outer
skin, pulling taut until it might snap open and spill onto the floor.
“Daddy, can I have some candy?”
I hear her, but ignore it. I have to because I know if I answer,
it will be a snap response, it will be harsh, it will bring tears. I need my medicine
before I can speak to her rationally.
“Daddy, can I call my friends? Can Leah spend the night? It’s
Friday. You remember on Tuesday when you said we’d talk about it on Friday?”
Throbbing. Aching. Where is the damned ibuprofen? It’s
always in this cabinet. Second shelf, white bottle, store brand. Four extra strength
pills kill my lower back pain every time. It’ll work on my jaw, won’t it?
Okay, I'm not going to present any revelations here. Or maybe for some folks, I am. I hear this day in and day out from writers...so much so that I've stopped bringing the topic up. I admit, I've actually baited some forums and Facebook page discussions asking the question: Where has all the horror gone?