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Shock Waves – Blu-ray review

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shock-wavesShock Waves – Blu-ray review
Director: Ken Wiederhorn
Cast: Peter Cushing, John Carradine, Brooke Adams
Review By Brian M. Sammons

Easily the best underwater Nazi zombie movie ever made. As such, it’s a must have for any serious horror fan’s home library.

What, you need more than that? More than Nazi zombies…underwater! More than Peter Cushing as an old Nazi and John Carradine as an old, salty, ship captain? Man, you just want everything, don’t you? Well okay, since I’m here anyway, I’ll give you the nickel tour of this often forgotten, but always fun and funky flick form 1977. So come on, and don’t forget your water wings. You’re going to need them.

This film sort of begins like Gilligan’s Island did, with a varied group of people chartering a boat for a bit of high seas fun. Of course things don’t go as planned, and soon the castaways are marooned on a tropical island with two notable features. One is a creepy, rusting hulk of a ship nearby, and the other is a once swanky hotel, now gone to seed. The ship we’ll get to, but first our heroes, looking for some help, go to the old building, only to find a very German, and antisocial, Peter Cushing living there all alone. Or is he? He basically tells them that they are all doomed if they stay on the island, and once some of their number start disappearing, he reluctantly coughs up the truth.

Back toward the end of World War II, those kooky Nazis cooked up a scheme for the ultimate underwater commando by using zombies. Yeah, think of the US Navy Seals, only not having to rely on bulky equipment to go underwater, the ability to stay underwater as long as they want, and the added bonus that they’ll never, ever die. Well naturally this Nazi wonder weapon did have one or two bugs, chief among them being that the scuba-zombies were just a tad on the homicidal and uncontrollable side. Peter Cushing was the living commander of these aqua-zombies, and when the war was lost, he was at sea and had no place to go with his deadly cargo. After sailing around for a while, he sank his ship, with all the zombies still on it, and went to live on the nearby island. But now, thanks to a storm, the dead ship of undead death is back, and so too are the killer Nazi zombies.

Now what sets this movie apart from the thousands of other zombie movies out there, not to mention the hundreds of Nazi zombie movies (yes, that really is a subgenre) is both the super soldier aspect, and the underwater setting. First, while these undead soldiers aren’t geniuses, they don’t even ever talk, they hunt, stalk, and kill with military precision. They aren’t your usual groaning, lumbering zombie, they are far more lethal than that. Then there is the underwater thing, and that never gets old here. There are amazing shots of the aqua-zombies walking along the ocean floor, lying in wait in shallow pools to ambush prey, and dragging their victims down to the depths. I can only assume that the filmmakers hired Olympic class divers, as not once can you see bubbles escape the mouths or noses of these soggy undead, and that just adds to the eeriness of the movie. Their bleached-white flash and hair, dark goggles, and Nazi uniforms also help with that too.

On to the extras and goodies on this new Blu-ray from Blue Underground. There is an audio commentary with co-writer/director Ken Wiederhorn, make-up artist Alan Ormsby, and filmmaker and fan, Fred Olen Ray. There are four new interviews here, one with the producer/cinematographer Ruben Trane, one with composer Richard Einhorn, another with actress Brooke Adams, and the last with actor Luke Halpin. All together these interviews run over 50 minutes. A theatrical trailer, TV spot, two radio spots, and a poster and still gallery round out the extras on this disc.

Shock Waves is one of those movies that could only have been made in the 1970s. Okay, the Norwegians came close with their 2009 Dead Snow, but that was played far more for laughs and totally missed out on the underwater stuff. This is a horror movie through and through. It doesn’t nod or wink at you, it plays everything straight to good effect. If you’re a zombie fan and want to try something other than the same old, same old in that genre, Shock Waves is the movies for you. It is well recommended by me.

Categories : Horror News
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ABSMembers of the New England Horror Writers will stage an all-day reading of dark fiction at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester on November 29, 2014 from Noon to 9 PM as part of Small Business Saturday. Scheduled authors include Alyn Day, K. H. Vaughan, Matthew M. Bartlett, John Grover, John McIlveen, Dave Price, Karen Dent, Roxanne Dent, Morgan Sylvia, Doug Rinaldi, Bracken MacLeod, Tony Tremblay, Scott Goudsward, Trisha Wooldridge, Paul McMahon, Errick Nunnally, Rachel Kenley, and Rob Smales. Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, 65 James Street, has been fixture of Worcester’s independent book scene and supporter of the horror community for many years. Come and discover that there are more frightening things this Thanksgiving than dinner with the relatives!

For more information, contact Annie’s at 508-796-5613, or see them on the web at

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The new horror novella and second book in the Black Labyrinth imprint Prisoner 489 by Joe R. Lansdale illustrated by Santiago Caruso is now available from Dark Regions Press on their website at:

Prisoner 489 marks a thrilling return to horror for bestselling author Joe Lansdale (Cold in July, Bubba Ho-Tep, Hap and Leonard) that Publishers Weekly calls “a tight, spooky tale about what happens when an executed prisoner doesn’t stay dead.” The book is lavishly illustrated by world renowned artist Santiago Caruso with 9 or more original illustrations, printed in full color in the signed limited hardcover editions. Available exclusively on starting on Tuesday, November 18th, Prisoner 489 is one of the most anticipated Dark Regions Press titles of 2014.


Bestselling author Joe R. Lansdale (Cold in July, Hap and Leonard series, Bubba Ho-Tep) makes a return to horror with the dark and intense new novella Prisoner 489 fully illustrated by world-renowned artist Santiago Caruso.

On an island with a prison for the most evil and powerful criminals in the world, a new prisoner is strapped to the electric chair for execution. After multiple surges of electricity and nearly knocking out power to the entire island, the prisoner is finally dead. The staff buries him in the prison graveyard with a simple marker baring three numbers: 489.

After the body is buried, a violent storm rocks the islands and a staff member goes missing. The crew rushes into the storm, searching for their lost comrade. They find that the burial site of prisoner 489 has been unearthed, and the body that was inside has gone missing. With a horrific finding and strange noises around them, a powerful threat is closing in. It’s a threat that they thought was impossible, and it will force them into a battle for their lives.

Illustrations from Prisoner 489 by Santiago Caruso


Photos of Black Labyrinth Signed Limited Hardcover Editions


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sirens-call-publicationsSirens Call Publications is very pleased to announce we have acquired Phrenic Press.

Phrenic Press has operated as an invitation-only, short story publisher since mid 2013 specializing in inspired and eclectic stories. In becoming an imprint of Sirens Call Publications, it will continue to operate in the same manner.

All Phrenic Press titles are published on Amazon and are part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

Check out the Phrenic Press website at:

The Phrenic Press blog can be found at:

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BIRMINGHAM, UK, November 14, 2014 – Short, Scary Tales Publications (SST Publications) owner, Paul Fry is excited to announce that SST is now taking pre-orders for The Rockabye Worm by Glenn Chadbourne. The book is a delightful tale about a little worm’s fight for survival and is gorgeously illustrated by Glenn in his trademark pen & ink style. SST is publishing the book as a Trade Hardcover edition and also as a limited Signed & Lettered Remarqued Edition. The trade edition will be released on November 30th and the remarqued edition will be available early 2015. There will be only 52 signed, lettered & remarqued copies that will include an original hand-drawn full colour picture by Glenn Chadbourne which will make each copy very unique and collectible.

New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden called the book “…adorable and grotesque.”

About the Author: “Glenn Chadbourne is a freelance artist specializing in the horror/dark fantasy genres. His work has appeared in over fifty books as well as numerous comics and magazines and has accompanied the written works of the genre’s top authors. Among them Stephen King, where Chadbourne illustrated the two volume set The Secretary of Dreams and most recently King’s The Dark Man. Chadbourne was the Artist Guest of Honor at the World Horror Convention in New Orleans in 2013 and continues to work daily in the genre he holds most dear. He lives in Newcastle, Maine with his wife Sheila and their Boston Terrier, Evan.”

About the Publisher: SST Publications is an independent publisher of all things dark. They have published several books; the first title, Cold Storage includes an introduction by legendary author Graham Masterton. Their most recent books include the erotic horror anthology Peep Show, Volume 2 and the debut dark, thriller novel Dont Stand So Close by screenwriter/director Eric Red. They also published the classic erotic horror magazine Peep Show, and have recently launched a new horror fiction & dark art magazine Beware the Dark, which is a unique size (7.44 x 9.69 in), full-color, high-quality produced mag of between 100-130 pages bringing you the best dark and disturbing fiction and artwork. SST has also launched a new Art Book Series and will publish some of the best artists in the genre. The first title Veins and Skulls is by award-winning professional illustrator Daniele Serra. SST publishes their titles in multiple formats which are distributed worldwide by Ingram, the world’s largest book distributor.

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Carlo Mendez Joins Desolation

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Ryan M. Andrews, Jessica Cameron, & Carlo MendezCARLO MENDEZ JOINS RYAN M. ANDREW’S DESOLATION

Exclusive First-Look Stills From Set

The cross-country triple road movie extravaganza produced by Mem Ferda and executive produced by Jessica Cameron and Jonathan Scott Higgins has added actor Carlo Mendez (Parks & Recreation, The Bay) to the feature film Desolation.

Desolation is directed and written by award-winning filmmaker Ryan M. Andrews. The plot of the film is as follows: Along the back roads of America, a hitchhiker is waiting. Gorgeous, mysterious and full of sadistic rage, what chances do an unsuspecting couple have against her?

Tristan Risk & Ryan KiserThe movie also stars Tristan Risk (American Mary) and Jessica Cameron (Truth or Dare). Mendez is playing the role of “Salvador” opposite Jessica Cameron who plays his wife “Heidi” in the feature film. He is the brother of actress Eva Mendes (2 Fast 2 Furious, We Own The Night).

The feature film Desolation is one of three features included in the ambitious, first of its kind project. A group of indie filmmakers packed into an RV and are filming 3 movies while traveling across the United States. The other project, being directed by Jessica Cameron is titled MANIA, from a script written by Jonathan Scott Higgins. The 3rd movie is a feature-length making of documentary aptly titled Kill the Production Assistant. It chronicles the production of these two films to give viewers an inside look at independent filmmaking at its finest.Tristan Risk

The group of filmmakers have already begun shooting and have filmed in California, Nevada, & New Mexico. To find out more about the project and where they are headed next, please visit their website at:

The filmmakers were kind enough to pass along the first stills from the many sets of Desolation. More information about each film can be found at the social media links below:


Directed by: Jessica Cameron
Written by: Jonathan Scott Higgins
Starring: Tristan Risk & Ellie Church
Tagline: A f@cked up lesbian love story
Synopsis: Two lesbian lovers are forced to flee cross-country after a brutal murder changes their lives forever.
Social Media:


Directed by: Ryan M. Andrews
Written by: Ryan M. Andrews
Starring: Tristan Risk, Jessica Cameron, & Carlo Mendez.
Tagline: She’s been waiting for you
Synopsis: Along the back roads of America, a hitchhiker is waiting. Gorgeous, mysterious and full of sadistic rage, what chances do an unsuspecting couple have against her?
Social Media:

Kill the PA

Directed by: Aaron Lane
Synopsis: A feature-length making-of documentary, chronicling the travels and filming of MANIA and Desolation. This is a chance for audiences to see a grassroots approach to independent filmmaking.
Social Media:

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10_2914_HB_Ann_HorrorBlockShortFilms_Launch_rev2-2Announcing the Horror Block Short Film Festival with a grand prize of $10,000!

Do you have what it takes to join the ranks of Wes Craven, John Carpenter, and Alfred Hitchcock? If you can put it on film, we’ll put it in cash!

Beginning December 1st we’ll be accepting submissions for our first annual Horror Film Contest, with a first place prize of $10,000, second place prize of $5,000, 3rd place prize of $2,500, and cash prizes for Best Visual Effects and Best Scream. Applications are open to all active subscribers! Stay tuned for more details.

Good luck everyone!

More details will be available at

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