Sunday, April 8, 2012

Have you ever noticed....

I've watched just about every killer swarm movies, giant animal movies and monsters from space movies (also including killer machines, but this blog isn't about them) and I noticed something about them. All these horrific creatures, be they dinosaurs, rabid dogs, Great White sharks, giant worms or spiders all they do is ravage and kill their hapless victims. But even though they're all carnivores, they never eat what they kill. They just go from victim to victim, kill, then move on. So, are they monsters because they act like humans who kill for now reason? 

But what irritates me the most is the way 90% of monster movies end. The survivors happily walk away from whatever swarming monster was threatening them. They may look a bit disheveled, maybe a bandage or cast from their travails, but alive. Hosanna. Then the camera pans away from them and the last frame of the movie is—wait for it—one of “Insert monster here” is alive. A single bee, or wasp or spider or ant is seen emerging from the smoke and rubble, wriggling antennas and clearly ready to take up the torch. And these creatures are never just ordinary animals, they usually have enhanced venom or aggression or something.

In the movie The Mummy, with Brenden Frasier, we see the flesh-eating scarabs eat a poor, hapless victim right to the bone in seconds. If this is so, why is the mummy in the sealed coffin still largely intact?

In the Deep Blue Sea, we meet a genetically engineered shark that is supposedly as smart as a man. Dire warnings are thrown around once this is discovered and the hero announces that this is the greatest living predator in the world. A clear threat to the human population. Hello. Water. Sharks live in water. Humans live on dry land. Are they going to sink the 10 thousand ton freighters or passenger ships that carry people above the water?

I love Jurassic Park—the original one—but Malcolm used to drive me crazy with his stupid pronouncements. Warning that all the scientists just stood on the shoulders of great men and could never have done this cloning thing without that knowledge. Hello again. All science is built on what has been done before. Is he suggesting every researcher must re invent the wheel over and over again to legitimate their findings? Einstein would never have discovered his various theories without Newton or Gallileo. 

Malcolm -- and don't get me wrong, I adore Jeff Goldblum—was always spouting off just like the idiot in Deep Blue Sea. We had unleashed an unstoppable plague of monsters that had been chosen for extinction. Chosen for extinction? Is he suggesting the whole asteroid thing was planned? By who? Any way you look at it, dinosaurs were a heck of a lot more successful than we have by millions of years. 

I know it's a suspension of disbelief thing, but sometimes they stretch my suspension to the breaking point. What about you, what bugs you in movies or TV? Tell me in a comment and I'll enter your name into a draw to win an ebook any of my backlist currently available.


At 22 years of age, P. A. Brown's life changed forever when she sold everything she owned and moved 2,000 miles away to a city she'd never visited, where she knew no one and where she was definitely not prepared. Coming from a sheltered life, she spent the next eight years doing her own wild and crazy thing and managed to survive. In retrospect, she now realizes her family was right. She was insane. Which of course made her fit in perfectly. She roamed the good and bad streets of Los Angeles, doing things that in retrospect were probably downright idiotic. Knowing nothing about the city she made the brilliant decision to get a cheap apartment. She found one, in the heart of a crime-ridden section of Hollywood, one she later found out was called a war zone by the LAPD. There were stabbings and shootings and assaults every weekend. Thus was her introduction to life in a big American city. She revisited lately and found the entire area gentrified. Almost all of her favourite haunts were gone. Only the Frolic Room remained.

Most of her time in L.A. was spent in the underbelly of the city, including a month living out of a car. She visited Skid Row, spent time on the streets of Hollywood, and befriended a bartender who was killed after she went home with a customer. And you wonder why she writes crime novels? During the 80s, P. A. saw the advent of a terrible disease no one understood that became known as AIDS. Being immersed in the gay community, P. A. knew a lot of people who died in those days. For a brief period, she was even a "Valley Girl," living within spitting distance of the famous Sherman Oaks Galleria. Does she miss it? Every minute of every day.

LATIN BOYZ is my newest and possibly darkest novel. if you like your romance with a dark edge, then LATIN BOYZ is just the fix you need.  Pushing the envelope on romance.


Twenty-one year old Gabe will do anything to keep his family safe from the Locusts XIII Crew, a Cypress Park gang, especially his 14-year-old sister Nattie. In Gabe's struggle to keep his small, fragile family safe, he meets LAPD patrol officer Alejandro Cerveras and must come to terms with his attraction to him--and decide whether to believe his Church’s teachings or what his heart tells him. Then tragedy strikes, fueling his rage. As the need for vengeance drives him past all reason, violence and hatred erupt between Gabe and the gangbangers, spiraling out of control, leading to tragedy and the greatest loss of all.


Thanksgiving, Cypress Park, South-Central Los Angeles

P-Bull swung the thugged-out Buick onto Merced Street.

Sadboy shoved the barrel of his gun out the car window. "Gonna get us a piece of White Fence ass," he screamed. "Bang, bang. Fucking lame-ass chuntaros!"

"I'm down with it." P-Bull jacked a load into his Raven and checked the sight. Beside him Sadboy rocked and grinned and waved the chrome around. Happy as a shitbird. "Don't go shooting your ass off, mijo." 

P-Bull knew this street. He grew up here. He rolled past yards he'd spilled blood in years ago, before the Locusts jumped him in. Down the street little kids played some little kid game, making noise. Old chocho pushed a lawn mower and spit grass all over his skinny legs. The puta, Gabe's mother, and his sister, Nattie, came out of the house beside the White Fence crib. That little girl gettin' all grown up. Gonna have to pay her a visit soon. That sweet little fox about ready to meet a real man.

"There he is!" Sadboy shouted when a scrawny boy P-Bull recognized as Ruiz, the new White Fence banger, came out of the house. Sadboy bounced on the Buick's seat, waving his chrome around. P-Bull was gonna tell him to cool it when the fool opened fire. He yipped and hollered while he sprayed the front of the houses with brass. "The White Fence pussy ocho make a run for it."

P-Bull lit in a second later, blowing the running man down. Gabe's mother ducked. Her and Gabe's sister went down in a tangle, the girl's fine strong legs in the air for everyone to see. Man, he had to get a taste of that.

"Where you from now!" Sadboy screamed. He punched P-Bull's shoulder. "Lay it down."

P-Bull stared at the front yard where the old woman and daughter lay sprawled on the ground. "Later, Sancha." 

Gabe flew down the stairs. From half a block away, P-Bull laughed. When the man who had once been his best friend screamed and fell to his knees beside his mother, P-Bull's lip curled.

"Balless coward, should go back and cap your ass." Before he could act on the thought and throw the Buick into reverse, a black and white, followed by another, screamed around the corner. P-Bull slipped the Raven under his belt.

Sadboy grew so excited, P-Bull thought sure he'd start firing out the car window again like Clint Eastwood as some baddass cop. P-Bull reached over and clipped the back of Sadboy's head.

"Idiot, you lookin' to get 5-0 after us? Put that away."

Sadboy sullenly did, glowering at the dashboard.

P-Bull slipped the car into first, driving slowly, to avert 5-0's attention.

He cranked the music up, rocking to words about killing cops and banging whores. His hand slapped against the car door in beat to the rap; his shaved head bobbed.

All the time he watched the activity behind him.

The cops swarmed out of their cars. One checked Ruiz, then spoke into his shoulder mic. The others approached Gabe, guns coming out when Gabe stared at them blankly, not reacting to to them and what they were probably telling him to do. 

P-Bull couldn't hear the words but he knew what was coming. Gabe ignored 5-0 and crawled over to his sister, cradling her in his arms. P-Bull watched to see if she was alive. Be a pity if she died before she got to meet him. 

Both cops screamed and drew closer to the kneeling man.

Even from the slowly moving car, P-Bull could see the blood on both Gabe and his sister. He howled with laughter when one cop, female, finally proned Gabe out, yanked his hands behind his back. She hauled him, his face and T-Shirt soaked in crimson, to the curb and stuffed him in the back of a cruiser.

"Don't need to cap his ass." P-Bull threw his head back and laughed. "5-0 do it for us." 

With the cops; attention somewhere else, he turned the car down a narrow alley to Pepper Street, getting clear of the streets before 5-0 started looking around for suspects. Not that they'd look too hard. It was just brown barrio chollos lying on the ground.

Once on Cypress, P-Bull laughed and punched down on the gas, spewing oily smoke and burnt rubber when they left Pepper. They circled back, passing Merced where cops and ambulances turned the street into a carnival of lights.

P-Bull didn't hear any sirens following them while they fled to Eagle Rock, looking to chase some dragon.

""Takin' care of business," he said and knuckled Sadboy. "Right on. Locusts rule!"

"Fuckin' A." Sadboy giggled. "You see that cabrĂ£o go down? Fuck White Fence."

"Fuck 'em all."

For more information on P. A. Brown, please visit her website and a list of available backlist at: Web site


Tina Donahue said...

I have to agree with you PA - the repetitive plots get very old very fast. I like the movies that end on a 'what now' note. Like "Dawn of the Dead" - some survivors get away, but where are they going? Where can they go? The zombies (or whatever they are) are supposedly everywhere. Like in "The Birds" - the main characters survive and drive off, but the birds are still there. Is this a worldwide occurence? Very creepy. Got me to thinking. That's the kind of horror flicks I like.

Tim Smith said...

What I find irritating is when the writer makes mention of something that could be significant near the beginning or middle, then it's never resolved by the fade-out. I have the same gripe about some books I've read. "Law and Order" and "NCIS" are two of my favorite shows but there have been times when something intriguing was introduced in the first act and never heard from again, leaving me to ask "But what happened to..."

Good post.

Fiona McGier said...

Actually I like the old-style horror movies like that. I can't understand the attraction of new ones like "Saw", where the whole point is to watch a person get dismembered or cut up. Ew...gross! I prefer my monsters to be alien or otherwise NOT human. There are too many human "monsters" already without giving them any more ideas.

Re: your wild past...one of my sons will graduate in June from a college in Flint, MI. Recently when home for a weekend he remarked that he almost can't sleep without the sounds of gunshots, since that's the lullaby he's been listening to for years. I told him if he'd have told me that sooner, he wouldn't be still at that college. He smiled and told me that's why he never mentioned it before. Kids! They grow up so fast!

Elf2060 said...

Waving from Southern Cal...
I don't watch horror movies since I don't like to watch the buckets of blood being tossed around and the dippy female leads tend to irritate me.

Stormie Kent said...

I hate "the misunderstanding" in movies or books. I'm a very direct person and I always think, "Why didn't so and so just ask the love interest if xyz really happened?"
As for monsters, I loved the formerly human monsters in I Am Legend. Woke me in the middle of the night after I saw it. I mean, we just blindly take medicine, right?