Best and Worst of 2014

Maybe it’s the whiskey talking. Maybe it’s the new Devilment CD that I’m jamming to but either way the ideas for this list are flowing.   I think that I have made my choices rather evident throughout the year so this will most likely not be a shock to anyone.

Please send any complaints to renfield@stickitupyour@$$.com


Best Horror Movies of 2014

10. The Quiet Ones – Meh. I’ve seen worse.

9. Possession of Michael King – Careful what you wish for, you may end up possessed.

8. See No Evil 2 – Fine, I’ll say it. This made my list because I have a thing for twins. Goth twins. Goth twins that direct horror movies…an


d Danielle Harris. Look, this movie just has hot ass all over it so it is making my list solely on the purpose of sucking up and buying points with these chicks.

7. Daniel – It is an independent flick that is less than three minutes long and still whips some ass.

6. Devil’s Due – Not all babies are a gift from God. After seeing this, I remembered that I have to make that appointment for a vasectomy.

5. Deliver Us From Evil – I loved it, the wife hated it. I didn’t get dinner that night and I slept on the couch.

4. Sacrament – NOT “The Sacrament” that was put out by “Ti Not-the-best in the West (or anywhere else)”, but rather the  independent film


Shawn Ewert. This is the second to last film that Marilyn Burns made before her passing. Old school horror with a modern day moral – Extremism is a bad thing!

Annabelle – If BIlly from Saw and Annabelle had a baby, what do you think it would look like?

3. Annabelle – Well this movie just split horror lovers right down the middle didn’t it?

2. Jessabelle – Because I like Louisiana and actually a cup of gumbo sounds rather good right about now.

1. Babadook – I think this one scored so high with me because I really like saying the title. Babadook. Babadook. Dook, dook, dook!



Worst Horror Movies of 2014

10. The Sacrament – I think we all know my hate/hate affair that I have with Ti West.

Dracula Untold
They said this worked for “Batman Begins”.

9. Dracula Untold – And better off left that way.

8. I, Frankenstein – Me, pissed off about losing $6.50 on this turd.

7. Red Snow: Red vs. Dead – The only thing worse than Red Snow 2 is yellow snow. The only thing worse than yellow snow is Red Snow 1.

6. Leprechaun: Origins – What’s two feet tall, sucks and is green all over? This movie.

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“So the cop was like ‘I smell something so I’m going to need you to step out of the car’ and I was like “I swear I have glaucoma…See?’ “

5. Ouija – S-U-C-K-S- Goodbye.

4. The ABC’s of Death – I know this was from last year, but it sucked so bad that it landed itself a place again on this year’s lists.

3. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones – “Hey, why don’t we market a horror movie to people who live in the barrio?”

2. The Purge: Anarchy – I have more use for a case of herpes than I do this movie.

1. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones – Stay further away from this movie than you would a meth dependent, paraplegic hooker with two different STDs…on her period.

Even Death is praying this series ends soon.
Even Death is praying this series ends soon.




Renfield Rasputin has a hard time finishing anything that he sta…

A Review of “Mercy” starring Chandler Riggs, Dylan McDermott


MercyMercy (Blumhouse Productions 2014) just might have the set up of the perfect storm to be the next big horror film. If it is not enough for you that Mercy is based on the short story “Gramma” from Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew, the cast of Chandler Riggs (The Walking Dead), and Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story) plus the timeless Shirley Knight, might be just enough alone to convince you to watch the movie. However, remember that even the strongest of storms can fizzle out at the last minute.


The story follows two brothers who, with their mother, move in to their grandmother’s house to care for her as she enters her final days. The youngest brother, who has always had a special bond with her, starts to pick up clues that his loving grandma has woven a relationship with the dark arts. The problem is…grandma is not the only one dark spirits have an interest in.


The viewer’s mood immediately gets put into isolation and despair. Set in a small country town (rather than the usual location of King’s Maine) the director, Peter Cornwell, alternates between silhouettes of dead oak trees (think the cabin in Evil Dead) to and wide angle shots of the remote country side. Furthermore, I have to give kudos to Cornwell for using close up shots of the extras in the nursing home scene as a form of backdrop. Nothing says disturbing as watching an catatonic elderly person drool on themselves.


There are a few pop up scares that the movie relies on. Being that they placed in the right moment, they become memorable and work for their scene. (Anyone have a fear of something under their bed?)


I only have two problems with Mercy. First is the use of CGI to show the “dark spirit”. I still believe that what you don’t or can’t see is much more frightening than staring an obviously computer generated shadow’s glowing eyes. This totally kills the eerie vibe that the movie had created up until this point. I could think of a handful of alternative things Cornwell could have done with this scene to avoid this.


Secondly I have an issue with the ending. We all know that King likes to send his readers into a tailspin and leave them with an unforeseeable ending. However screenwriter Matt Greenberg (1408, Halloween H20, and the Prophecy II) changed the ending just enough so that it leaves the viewer screaming at the screen “…AND!?!” with an unsettled feeling of incompleteness.  All that build up and then I was only to be left with a pair of blue balls.


Like I said before, even the strongest of storms can fizzle out at the last minute.

"Carl! Get in the house!"
“Carl! Get in the house!”


A horror purist will appreciate the nod to H.P. Lovecraft that King uses for the book of spells. Also, see if you can pick out the reference to Stephen King’s own, The Stand.


Overall this was not a complete waste of my 90 minutes, just the last 5. The atmosphere is cool and the acting is appropriate for the script they had to work with. For a straight to video release, it is worth the watch and possibly even the discount bin buy. Not a total loss, Mercy does rather well when compared to some of the talent that is floating in the Netflix toilet bowl.



Renfield Rasputin writes horror and still thinks putting plastic wrap on toilet seats is funny.

Win a signed copy of Elizabeth Fields’ “Still The Night”

Horror-writers2014-12-07 19.00.24 and Elizabeth Fields are teaming up to bring you a chance to win a signed copy of her latest book “Still The Night”.

The contest is simple, just retweet today’s HW Twitter posting that is a picture of Elizabeth and her book. You will be automatically entered and one random retweeter will be randomly selected to win.


Good luck!

Two Sentence Horror Stories

I got the idea to write a few two sentence horror stories a few months ago. After pondering the idea for a couple of days of how I could accomplish the telling of an entire story in just two short sentences, I accepted the challenge to push myself and other horror writers to do the same. I have always said that I want for writers to better themselves and with a little friendly competition,  I am upping the ante by knocking back the amount that is written while at the same time delivering a fright.

Try to do this for yourself; it is not as easy as you may think. One wrong word, comma, or quotation here or there will constitute that the sentence must be split and making a third sentence, thus defeating the purpose. Too many words will become a run on and too few will not give the reader the best picture that you are trying to convey.

Feel free to write me and tell me what you think. If you like them, thank you. I had the pleasure of knowing that I entertained you.

If you hate them, blame Shawn, Dusty, and Chassity. They wrote them all on their own and forged my name.



I had never seen my father look so handsome in his suit as the way he did when he walked up the road to our house. I remember the last time I saw him wear that suit was when we buried him in it.


Carol’s new secretary rushed through the door and exclaimed “Your husband Phillip called and said you needs you at home; it has been broken into”. Carol’s spine tingled with fear as she uttered “Phillip died last year.”


Every Mother’s Day I make an attempt to visit my mother’s grave. One day I expect that when I show up she will actually be buried there.


“Mommy, do you still love me?” she asked with childlike innocence in her eyes. “Of course I do honey, now put down the knife and tell your Father you’re sorry.”


You should never be afraid of the dark. At least that is what the old lady under my bed tells me every night.


Jessica lived by herself when one day she heard the phone ring. She turned to her closet door and thought, “That’s not my ring tone.”


I’ve always hated clowns. I think it came from all the years that Daddy would dress as one and try to sing us to sleep.


I like to people watch at the park or at the mall. Other times your bedroom window works just as well.


They tell me that you can never go back home again. Not since Mommy had her accident with the razor at least.


Ralphie was told never to go into the woods alone. Not being one to disobey his mother, he dragged his little sister’s lifeless body with him.


Renfield Rasputin writes horror and gets distracted very ea……

A review of short “Still the Shadows” by Elizabeth Fields

Clever. One word; clever.

14121329839701313456783That is how I will summarize Still the Shadows by Elizabeth Fields, a collection of four short horror stories suitable for young adults or adults who have a preference other than the hack ‘n slash gore and zombie apocalypse that seems to be on permanent repeat on Amazon’s “Top Choices” list.  Clever tales, clever technical writing, clever delivery and execution. Clever.

Still the Shadows balances the four short horror stories into equal parts of first and third person narrative as well as length, tone, and sentence structure to offer a smooth read that does not have a robotic feel that burdens down the reader. Basically sampling every flavor that is served up in horror author culinary school and balancing it into a four course literature meal.

Flypaper is the first twisted tale of a young couple that gets stranded and is dependent on the “help” of an elderly couple. If help is what you want to call it.

The Apartment (My personal favorite of the four since I have an affinity to haunted house stories) is a first person tale of a young woman’s supernatural experiences in a new apartment while she attempts to adjust to a new high pressure job in a new town away from her family.

Cinnamon is an easy and short read that explores the fear of spiders. If just the mention of the eight legged furry buggers makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, this story will make you look for a fine tooth comb!

The Change is one of the two longer stories in the collection and is the crowning diadem of the unexpected twist.  The Change is a story about a few surviving humans that remain in a civilization when vampires take over as the ruling class.  Readers will appreciate that Fields puts a spin on the tired vampire tale by “giving Dracula a new cape” instead of recycling the same hum-drum vampire narrative.

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Fields understand the difference of layers in horror as her stories run the gauntlet from subtle startle to full on terror. Unlike some writers that tire the reader out by bashing them with terror the whole time, she puts the reader on a rollercoaster ride of emotions allowing for the highs and lows of fear. This shows great restraint and highlights Field’s experience as a story teller.

One can appreciate how Fields takes the reader to one place in her stories, but then delivers them to a different location other than where they expected to arrive. Don’t expect to cut any of her stories short, even though they are easy to read and digest, trying to skip ahead will only leave the reader lost as the story will have taken a much unexpected turn when the carpet gets pulled out from under them.

Still the Shadows will fulfill the needs of the person that is craving a change to their literary palate. I recommend this book for the young adult and for the adult that can appreciate a variation to the same old song and dance that the Amazon top 20 has to offer. I can think of about 19 other authors in the same genre that given the chance to read Fields’ workwould think, “How clever.”


Elizabeth Fields books can be found at

Learn more about her at