The purpose of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII is to enjoy books and movies/television that could be classified (by you) as: Mystery. Suspense. Thriller. Dark Fantasy. Gothic. Horror. Supernatural. Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.
I’m going to post my R.I.P. progress on Tuesdays during September and October and link them to the review site if they contain reviews of short stories, TV shows, or movies. Books will get their own posts.
“The Case of Death and Honey” by Neil Gaiman, from the anthology A Study in Sherlock, edited by Laurie R. King & Leslie S. Klinger. It’s a gem of story covering Holmes’ time in the Far East and his sudden interest, in retirement, in bee keeping. With, of course, an oblique twist.
“The Companions” by David Morrell, from the anthology Shadow Show: All New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury, edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle. This story seemed flat to me, the first to disappoint in this anthology. It is a take on guardian spirits, but the set up was too long and detailed. In comparison, the payoff was barely a page or two. I was expecting a turn that would take the story into the realm of unsettling, which seemed warranted, but it never happened.
I also read Bradbury’s “Laural and Hardy Love Affair,” which is not perilous in the least. Yet, it served as the basis for one of the things that scared me most as a kid: The “Gotcha!” episode from Ray Bradbury Theater. According to IMDB, it was episode 4 in season 2 and aired in 1988. Meaning I was 13 at the time, but man, the ending of that episode did a number on me. Haven’t watched it since…
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Rachel @ Resistance is Futile reminded me of this story. Probably a decade ago, someone mentioned this story to me, but I forgot about it before I tracked down a copy. (The internet was a very different place in ’01/’02!) Wow, what a story. It can be read from a traditional gothic approach (bars on the window of the top floor nursary and a gate at the top of the stares) or a feminist approach (a husband *always* knows what’s best for his wife) or, you know, both. Really good literature should hit on numerous fronts. You don’t need to know the conventions of a gothic or be a feminist to enjoy the truly unsettling aspects of this story. (Read at The University of Adelaide Library)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) – If I could take the best bits of the US version and the Swedish version of this movie, it might rank in my top 20 movies. As is, I think I prefer the US version. Especially if I turn it off 20 minutes before the end.
Evening Primrose (1966) – This was a surprising fit for Peril on the Screen. I was perusing Hulu when I came across the addition of this ’66 TV musical starring Anthony Perkins . I expected light comedy. Instead, I got Twilight Zone: The Musical Episode. When disillusioned poet Charles Snell decides to live in the picture-perfect world of a department store, hiding by day and writing at night, he finds that he isn’t the first person to have the idea. An entire society exists with its own rules and its own police, the dark men that live at a mortuary. Unfortunately, Charles falls in love with social pariah and muse, Ella. Will they be able to escape back to the outside world, or will the dark men turn them into store mannequins? (Watch on Hulu)
Dexter, Season 5 – Yeah, I’m behind. I don’t have cable and we haven’t had Netflix DVD service in a while. Season 5 seemed short to me. And it’s not that it lacked plot, but it felt sort of anticlimactic. Or rather, not very perilous. (Yes, I am going to over-use the word peril in the next two months.) It never felt like wacky ol’ Dexter was in a really tight spot that he could get out of. I was pleased with the guest cast, but **spoiler** [sorry to see them go].