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One Hot Zombie Husband, Please!–And Other Lustful Zombie Stuff

2 Feb
santaclaritadiet

Let that repressed manic side out, Timothy Olyphant.

by Madeline Iva

On Friday night I’m watching a new show called THE SANTA CLARITA DIET on Netflix. Why? Two words: Timothy Olyphant. The guy has a kind of restrained mayhem vibe that makes women purr. He’s good when he’s a bad boy, and I like it when he does the humor thing, but really underplays it. Let’s hope he gets to do both in this new TV show.

What’s unusual is for Olyphant to be part of a duo, for he often plays the lone wolf.  Yet he’s a supportive husband (awwww) as his wife’s body goes undead and her twisted feral id coming to life. (Peeps, this could be my own marriage we’re talking about—esp. when I’m on deadline.)

As for the rest of the show–we shall see.  I lurv Drew Barrymore and early reviews say the supporting cast is excellent.  The creator is Victor Fresco who did the short lived but great (!) show BETTER OFF TED, which walked the line of absurdism and also had a supportive, understanding, and munch-a-licious lead.

But hey, let me be your zombie pimp and recommend some other zombie joy you may have overlooked. My preference is for zombie comedy/satire. Take R in WARM BODIES.  So cute and so protective in his own teenage, shuffling, groan-y way.

Click to buy the DVD

Click to buy the DVD

 

There’s also a wonderful funny little book call BREATHERS.  Subversive and with a sexy element that I quite enjoyed.

Click to buy.

Click to buy.

Have you seen the movie SEAN OF THE DEAD? It’s a bit like The Office meets zombies. Quite surprisingly daffy and satiric all the way through.

Imagine The Office as a zombie flick. Click to buy the DVD...

Imagine The Office as a zombie flick. Click to buy the DVD…

Meanwhile, let us not forget some serious Zombie smut, like what you’ll find with our own Isabelle Drake’s SERVANT OF THE UNDEAD along with Daisy Harris’ mix of not-quite-human stuff.  I lurved Hariss’ “Steins” and sex bots.  In BUILT FOR IT Harris discovered M/M erotic romance and never looked back. (Can you even get these books anymore Daisy?)

 

557e4e368babb5e201b7f2d2b531d8cbOnce upon a time, Lexi waxed philosophical on the ethics of sex with an undead body. I, dear readers, completely understand.  Who really wants to kiss decaying flesh?  On the other hand, a zombie is nothing if not a metaphor.  Give me your metaphors–satiric, comedic or full of pathos and killed by societal excess and ennui.  Sometimes we all seem a little rotten to the core.  Zombies get to wear their decay on the outside where it’s all embarrassing and visible.  Ultimately, they’re monsters and I dearly love a monster-hero, even if his heart is dead and cold.

That’s not to say that one can’t enjoy zombie horror.  Lexi has traced the path of an end-of-the-world romance on the Walking Dead that I’ve followed probably with more enjoyment that I took in watching the actual show.  Check out her posts:

LIFE AMONG THE DEAD: IS MICHONNE READY TO LOVE AGAIN?

THE DEAD DELIVER: IS THIS THE SEASON FOR RICHONNE? 

DEAD ON! REJOICING FOR RICHONNE

If you do like your zombies with a lot of blood splatter, there’s a movie coming out called THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS.

You'll slurp it up if you like post-apocalyptic action/adventure. Click to buy.

You’ll slurp it up if you like post-apocalyptic action/adventure. Click to buy.

The book was gripping–I stayed up all night reading it.  I’m sure the movie will be excellent too, but check out the book first. It’s post apocalyptic, British, and I liked how the balance of characters in the book were female.  They seemed to have deliberately switched around the race of the characters in the movie.  Hmmmmmm.

There’s also World War Z — not your typical zombie genre book.  It’s totally different and only about a thousand times better than the movie. (Sorry Brad Pitt.)

Another book I've read in one sitting. Click to buy.

Another book I’ve read in one sitting. Click to buy.

Well, time for me to do some groaning and shuffling myself as I sign off to go jog, shower, and write. Follow us at Lady Smut.  We give you reasons to live.

wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_high_res_1800x2700Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

 

I’VE SEEN STRANGER THINGS THAN BAD MOMS WEARING CROWNS

1 Dec

 

by Madeline Iva

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was inspired. As promised, I binge-watched a ton of TV and movies letting my brain waves rest for a few days. And yes, I’ll be talking about foreskin before I’m through with this post. But let’s talk about STRANGER THINGS***–before we get to the turtleneck.

STRANGER THINGS takes place in the 80’s and yet I noted how it was different from the actual movies of the 80’s:

1) Weirdness wins!

2) Unlike any proper 80’s horror movie, the popular ‘slut’ doesn’t get slaughtered in the first act. Instead her stodgy ‘good girl’ friend is the one who ends up bloody and eventually missing. Huzzah!

Anorexic girl with a P.E. folder--so 80's it hurts!

Anorexic girl with a P.E. folder–so 80’s it hurts!

3) The weirdest of the weird in this show is a girl named Eleven–AND I LOVED HER CHARACTER SO HARD. She’s beautifully androgynous, as well as full of raging destructive and weird powers.

Note to self: Why am I not writing characters like this?

Warning: you're about to get a skewed sense of this TV series, as scene through the distorted lens of my obsession with Eleven.

Warning: the skewed sense you’re getting of this TV series is because it’s through the distorted lens of my obsession with Eleven.

4) The single mom Winona Ryder (who’s a mess) doesn’t need a man in the end.  I walk around with romance colored spectacles all the time, so I’ll admit I kept a keen eye on Winona, wondering if she and the gruff, hulking chief would connect as they started working together to find her missing son. Nope. By the end of the season she’s still a single, shambolic mom–and perfectly content to stay that way. For her it’s a happy ending (but not for everyone else—bwa-ha-ha!)

STRANGER THINGS explores how parents had to communicate with their children before cell phones existed.

STRANGER THINGS explores how parents had to communicate with their children before cell phones existed.

Ultimately, this show was mega-inspiring. Totally rad. Hella bitchin cool. To the max.

Speaking of BAD MOMS–No—I can’t go there yet.

Let’s talk about the Bad Mom with a Crown first.

THE CROWN — It’s like Mad Men for women. Elizabeth is not well educated, or at all prepared to be queen. She was only in her twenties when her father surprised everyone by dying and leaving her to inherit the crown. Her work in the first season is to repair her own deficiencies in the very best British way—by honestly admitting them and tackling them head on.

THE CROWN--in which power carries a handbag and waves funny.

THE CROWN–in which power carries a handbag and waves funny.

I like this show. Yes it’s British propaganda and yes, the attitudes of the people are excruciatingly conservative. But upholding traditions four hundred years old necessitates a bit of a conservatism, doesn’t it?

What I enjoy is that Elizabeth is not the kind of person who glitters, charms, or has brilliant moments of insight. She’s not the princess in a fairy tale who sweeps through the grand palace. She is excruciatingly ordinary.  She sighs over the necessity of living in a giant, ugly, palace and she dresses up with the same stoic attitude I have while doing stomach crunches at the gym. She’s also not really a mummy. Charles and Anne have their nurse, and that should be sufficient. Elizabeth seems at her most content as a mother watching from a distance while her handsome husband plays with the children out in the yard. The show portrays her without a maternal bone in her body. (Why is this so exciting to me?)

Huzzah to Clair Foy, meanwhile.  She’s the actress playing Elizabeth AND also Anne Boleyn in WOLF HALL.  Nice work if you can get it.

While I’m not saying Elizabeth’s not smart, at the same time she clearly wasn’t precocious or intellectually curious as a child. Punctilious in her duties, she’s a bit of a worker drone all in all. She loves horses, her husband, and her sister–perhaps in that order.  But in the beginning she makes mistakes in these most important relationships, promising her husband and sister things that she can’t deliver because she didn’t at first understand the forces who control and apply pressure to someone in her position.

At the same time she must face up to people seeing her exactly as she is–warts and all. I admire this and I cringe.  She doesn’t hide or lie about who she is–ever. I, meanwhile, constantly vacillate between anxiously wanting to please people only to swing right around in the other direction where I’m being so intensely, brutally myself that I alienate them. Gah!

In her role as queen, Elizabeth is not nurturing, motherly, or accommodating to others in ways we tend to expect of women; she’s simply in charge. She does her job with exactitude and diligence. Elizabeth learns the very difficult task of figuring out what this other persona is that she’s expected to inhabit–being The Crown. We see her negotiate being that persona out in the world and at home, and perhaps it’s because she has such a firm grip on herself in terms of who she is and who she isn’t that she gets through smoothly most of the time.

When people (i.e. politicians) attempt to walk all over her, she reminds them—in the very best British way–that she is the queen, and a woman of character, and in her own stead-fast way, a force to be reckoned with.

SPEAKING OF BAD MOMS – No. I still can’t.

SPEAKING OF THE 80’s: If you’re looking for a light comedy—check out WORKING GIRL on Netflix. I’d seen it when I was very young and really loved it. Seeing it again, I realized it is a transgressive fairy tale for the 80’s.  (I assume it was made in the 80’s.  The hair is REALLY big, and shoulder pads are everywhere.) It’s a million times better than Pretty Women, IMHO.

Transgressive 80's Cinderella story.

Transgressive 80’s Cinderella story.

Despite what the title suggests, Melanie Griffith is a lowly Staten Island secretary who wants to leave her life as a wage slave and become an executive. (Become an executive–snort–such an 80’s theme!) Her new female boss, Katherine (played SO WELL by Signorney Weaver) points out that

  • you have to finesse the scum bags—Hey, hasn’t Megyn Kelly has been telling us the same thing lately? Nuts to that, a lot of feminists say.
  • you have to make your own opportunities.

Yes! I hadn’t realized how much this movie influenced me.  When I saw it the first time I was a lowly minimum wage worker.  I then managed to become a creative writing instructor through creating opportunities for myself—and not always asking for permission before doing so, mind you.

Although the female boss Katherine turns out to be the villain of the movie, Melanie Griffith takes her advice. She makes her own opportunities. She doesn’t ask for permission. No guts, no glory. And with a lot of support from Harrison Ford, she succeeds.

OKAY – so now let’s all embrace foreskins and talk about BAD MOMS.

The best part of bad moms--the part that made me cry, was where the actresses were hanging out with their own real moms during the credits...

The best part of bad moms–the part that made me cry, was where the actresses were hanging out with their own real moms during the credits…

I watched it at my sweetie’s insistence.  Poor guy, he’s been so sick, he was looking for some light-light-light comedy to watch and because we both really like Kristen Bell, we decided to check it out. But I came to the film with very low expectations having seen Jezebel’s review/snarl/yawn.

Even so, I was mightily underwhelmed. Let us be clear—there was one bad mom in this film.  One. And she was not the lead–she was the rebel side-kick.  But let’s not dwell upon all that was meh about the movie. Let’s dwell instead over the one weird pause in the film where the women stop to have a frank discussion about foreskin.

–Particularly about how to deal with it face to face when knocking boots with a guy.

Let me first confess that the only foreskin I’ve ever seen is on baby boys while changing diapers when I was a nanny. Sweetie says based on what he sees at the gym (not that he’s looking closely or anything) foreskin was once rare for U.S. men his age or older, but now it’s something you’re probably going to encounter as a single woman dating men of the millennial generation.

Just the same I have to wonder–is this really a big deal? Is this a thing? I mean, yes, the evil world of marketing strives to make us cripplingly insecure about our bodies in every possible way. (Vaginoplasty anyone?) Are men being subjected to the same twisted pressures? Are they now expected to feel less-than because of a perfectly natural part of their bodies?

I vaguely recall some TV episode (was it House?) where a teenage kid took a razor to himself because he felt less attractive to girls. Are we really going there?

On one hand, Bad Moms seems to validate this ‘issue’ by showing some anxiety about encountering foreskin.  Yet they also seem intent upon delivering a message of acceptance.

And how could you not love the moment where the rebel Bad Mom side-kick tells Mila Kunis how to manipulate the foreskin during foreplay while using Kristen Bell’s head to demonstrate?

On the other hand, I’m just goggling over the fact that the movie kind of comes to a dead halt to deliver this rather hilarious PSA.

Oh well. Thanksgiving is over. Back to the daily grind for me.

I’m writing my next book about a Wicked Enchantress–who is NOW going to be a beautifully androgynous character full of raging destructive and weird powers. Huzzah!

And if you like weird, powerful, smexy women, then follow us at Lady Smut.

wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_high_res_1800x2700Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

***I must offer up a humble apology to my writer friend S.A. Hunter. She recommended STRANGER THINGS to me back in September before anyone else was talking about it. People, life is too short to sort through all the crap out there. When a good friend makes excellent recommendations, you listen to her. You treasure her. You don’t turn up your nose and shrug off her suggestion as I did. I was wrong to do so, and hang my head in shame. You are the more discerning, better friend, S. A..

 

DID YOU STAY UP ALL NIGHT WATCHING THE ELECTION? NO? THEN YOU MISSED A F**K OF A LOT OF STRESS

9 Nov
We got this one, Susan B. (I think...)

We got this one, Susan B. (I think…)

I’ve experienced this (historic) election day in waves:

THE EXCITEMENT WAVE: 8:00am EST

I couldn’t get any work done today. I have things going on – my book came out last week. A blog tour for my book started yesterday. I got the galleys in the mail that need to be looked at right now.  But I knew I wasn’t going to get anything done today.  My book is all about a magic geek who wants power –because I think we need to get more young women and girls used to the idea that it’s okay NOT to be the insecure, shy, modest girl.  It’s okay to want to claim power.  It’s okay.

15036667_1369267773113363_3725434608053603860_n

Look! My book–I’ll get to it tomorrow.

I’m too hyped.

THE EMOTIONAL WAVE: 2:14pm EST

I went to vote in the afternoon. Absolutely quiet at our voting center, as usual.

Before going I talked with an older friend of mine who always volunteers as an election official.  She said for the first time ever they were advised about what to do if someone came in with a gun, etc.

She also said that there would also be plain clothes police in each voting center of our fair city. Plain clothes—because uniforms would intimidate people. So, being the curious writer I am, I looked for them.  Indeed, at each entrance to where we voted was some young, fit, hipster guy playing with his phone. The guy in the voter booth behind me was hunched over his vote before I arrived, as I voted, and after I left.

There you have it.

When I got home I texted my half-sister asking if my grandmother (102) voted today. I was curious if she was as excited or more then when she was six and women got the vote. Then I just busted out crying because I was so moved thinking about that.

The weepies lasted through admiring all the pictures of women in white pantsuits, or any pantsuits at all…

Pantsuit nation.

Pantsuit nation.

NOTHING…IS…HAPPENING! 5:45pm EST

My sweetie noticing me hitting refresh on the computer rather aggressively and suggested we watch a movie instead of staring at my computer screen. Good idea! Also (shhhh) between you and me he is cranky as F*** with worry.  So we watched a movie and then tuned in at 8:30 – and…

OH MY F**KING CHRIST—ARE THEY TRYING TO KILL US? 9:02pm EST

I tuned in and JESUS! They’re saying he’s ahead in Virginia – Virginia! Until you see in the tiny print that they haven’t counted the most populace northern part of the state yet, or that it’s only one percent vote in or some other yank on my chain.

This is not good for our health people!

A writer friend texts me.

Rachel Maddow may commit seppuku on live television.

Good call!

And I don’t blame her if she does.

The Clinton people are on TV—literally saying–“Everyone take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay.”

I trust you, Clinton people. Don’t f**k with me.

GETTING A GRIP: 9:23pm EST

Okay — I’m folding laundry, thinking about making kale chips. Starting to feel tired. Sweetie has trained me to have the bed time of a nine year old, so I’m starting to fade a little. Have champagne in the fridge – hope I survive the election/stress to drink it.

I mean, I get it.  Hillary’s people got the vote out–and so there are a LOT of votes to count.  Early returns suck because Democratic strong holds are often in the cities, which have the biggest populations—and naturally therefore take the longest to count. So you sit there biting your nails while it looks like the republicans have it all sewn up.

Just checked the internet and read that Clinton could still win without FL. Whew. Have eaten all the cookies in the house.  Have just remembered that what “I read it on the internet” is not really knowledge.

ON EDGE OF HEART PALPITATIONS 9:38pm

Why didn’t I listen to ALEXA DAY and watch LUKE CAGE or THE CROWN instead? Why? Why? Why?

I roll through CNN, MSNBC, NBC, whatever is on Twitter — tonight it’s BUZZFEED (??) and FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.  😦  I keep muting off one and flying to the other.  Very aware that their agenda is to *make news* and if this means keeping us on the edge of our seat then they will do that and do it well.  So they’re no help at all, is what I’m trying to say.

And NBC is talking to Glenn Beck.  I can’t even.  The mute button is on.

LOSING MY RELIGION, 10:16pm

WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON IN FLORIDA???? This is killing me.

F**king FBI.  F**king emails.

I brood on how deep the vein of misogyny goes in our rural counties. I can’t take any commentary.  She just took New Mexico.  I’m staring at the map on CNN willing everything to turn blue.

Grieving here.  Let’s go through the stages:

Disbelief. Yes. It was supposed to be easier than this.

Anger.  Very much so, yes.

I’m at bargaining at this point.

I SWEAR to the heavens that when Hillary wins, I will never ever EVER take it for granted again that a candidate I really, really, want to win will do so with no help from me other than voting.

I SWEAR I will volunteer at least sixty hours per major presidential election to help my candidate. Hillary, when she’s up for re-election, and whomever after that.

I shudder to think of what happens if things go the other way.  I am not going there.  I am not.

I’m going to check back in at 11pm.  If I live that long.

It’s Trump 167 to Clinton 131 right now. I try to calm myself in the face of chuckling newscasters–because oh, boy, you all would just love that wouldn’t you, mass media–some huge upset, some last minute dramatic turn of events. 

This is what I was thinking to calm myself:

When they say Florida is 95% in and where are the numbers going to come from? –actually, there ARE still numbers that can come in.  These are just projections.  There are voters out there standing in long lines.  They’re going to vote.  They haven’t finished tabulating.

Our state just went for Clinton.  Whew. We did our bit.  I would not have been able to live with myself if it didn’t.  I really wouldn’t.

Time to build the bomb shelter and go live in it for four years. 11:03 EST

She just jumped to 190.  I’m looking around–oh, she got California.

Me: “Hey, Clinton got Hawaii!”

Sweetie: “Why’s that exciting?”

Me: “I don’t know, I’m just excited about anything at this point.”

Everyone on fb is suddenly unhappy Sweetie says. 11:05pm 

No, my writer friend tweets: Ruh-roh. He just won North Carolina.

I feel sick.  I feel SO SICK. In my stomach.  Like deep waves of sick.

From the NYTimes. E tu, Brute?

From the NYTimes. E tu, Brute?

The bonds market just plunged & the Asian stock market is in free fall.  11:30pm est

My writer friend tweeted me: Goodbye abortion rights. Goodbye Planned Parenthood.

We text jokes about holding each other’s hair while vomiting.

I text: I’m shocked about Utah. I thought they hated him. 

She says: Apparently not.  Hell, I don’t like her, and I’m a democrat.

She says: We would have won with Bernie.

I text: But when are we going to have a female president? Will we see it in your life time or mine?

She texts: Apparently not.

HOPE IS DYING HARD, BUT NOT COMPLETELY EXTINGUISHED 11:56pm EST 

It’s still possible.  We’re adding and doing the electoral math.  But it’s not looking good.  On the other hand, these are projections.  We’re taking them as gospel.  My hope is that people take the time to add and do the math and count allllllllll the votes.

But we’re feeling just so very, very sick. On the internet, hitting refresh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghosts Making Booty Calls

28 Oct

by Elizabeth SaFleur

It’s a wild wicked week at LadySmut. Not only is our very own Madeline Iva coming out with her latest, Wicked Apprentice, but we’re tackling all the Halloween myths, legends, costume angst and deep, dark truths lurking around this favorite holiday.

wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_high_res_1800x2700

Let’s talk ghost sex. As in, how they do it. You’ve wondered this, too? Well, good. Because I’ve lost some sleep over figuring out how do ghosts get it on. I mean, they’re transparent. How does “that” get into “this.” (Picture the hand gestures being made right now.) Wouldn’t it just, ahem, slide right through? And not in a good way. In a completely ineffectual way.

An answer must be found. It simply must. Because apparently fifteen perfect — FIFTEEN PERCENT! — of real, live, breathing people are getting it on with a non corporeal being. Even the Travel Channel did a documentary called Ghost Lovers (now officially in my Netflix cue. Oy, the things I endure for research.).

Consent isn’t such a thing in ghostland, either. Some people who’ve been the recipient of such a spiritual encounter did not make the booty call. The horny apparitions just appeared and started groping like Donald Trump. Oh, the horrors.

ghostbusters-ghost-blowjob-o

According to experts, however, just a fraction of the world’s ghost sex is non-consensual. Well, whew. But wait a minute. This means some of them DID ask for it? Yeppers. In fact, a whole community has cropped up around ghost fetishism. You just have to be open to such an encounter, say the people with spectrophilia, the official name for a fetish or condition where people display a strong sexual attraction to ghosts and spirits. So, settle in, relax your mind and bring on the invisible ding dongs? Even if you could request ghost sex, the original question stands.

HOW does it work?

ghost-movie

I turned to my favorite kind of research: buying and reading erotic romance books (as if the incentive was required). The amount of available ghost erotica is impressive. Succubus, demons and Casper-like beings are all getting it on between the pages. Carolyn Crane, Beth Kery, and our very own Alexa Day have written ghosts tales.

Check out Alexa’s short story, Three, After Midnight, in Mysteries of the Macabre: a Halloween Anthology. So. Much. Hawtness.

So, how do they do it? you are shouting  right now. The answer is simple my friends, thanks to Carolyn Crane’s Old Salt, a delightful short about a disenchanted tour guide in a small town whose claim to fame is the nightly hauntings from a drowned sea captain called “Old Salt.” Turns out “Old Salt” is really “Young Hot Guy.”

****SPOILER ALERT****

She dies. But all is not lost. He teaches the tour guide how to become corporeal for short periods of time. Guess what they do during these times? They concentrate really, really hard and bam! Bam-bam-bam-bam!

ghost-kiss

He-he-he-he. So there you go. Who knew the answer was so easy? You just gotta want it. Like anything in life, I guess.

Follow LadySmut. We’re easy. We won’t make you have sex with invisible critters for fun. Just pick up one of our books, like Madeline Iva’s latest, Wicked Apprentice, for all the salacious fun and fantasy you can handle.

About Wicked Apprentice

Zephyr, apprentice of magical arts, is having a really bad day. Under orders to capture an uncanny creature for her mistress’s latest spell, she chains up a tall, gorgeous elf in a decaying castle, only to find out he’s really a wizard with potent powers over human women. Uh-oh.

Theo has suffered heartbreak and betrayal more than once. He’s got a plan to escape, and when he does, he’s taking the curvy little apprentice with him. Her seductive curiosity about all things elvish makes his heart race, driving him into a sexual frenzy. He’s vowed never to unleash his powers of enchantment upon a human woman—yet while she kisses and teases him, longing for an elf romance, his fae side is slipping out of control.

Their world overturns when Zephyr unleashes a curse involving two magic rings. Under its spell, she becomes a mighty sorceress while the elf-wizard who loves her becomes her apprentice. As Zephyr works to turn the brooding, mistrustful elf into the hero the people need, Theo must find a way to contain Zephyr’s new powers before her wild magic destroys them all.

Madeline Iva’s high fantasy romance will enchant readers who love all things elvish, brooding heroes and bold heroines.

*****

Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary erotic romance and she’s not afraid to get a little graphic about it  — “it” being the smex, the BDSM or Washington, DC society, which she regularly features in her series, the Elite Doms of Washington.

Give Me A Side Of Sex With My Frights

5 Oct

By Elizabeth Shore

Apparently, it’s happened again. I blinked and suddenly summer was over. WTF? I was just pulling out my floaty flower-print dresses and strappy sandals five minutes ago, wasn’t I? Now I’m hunting for sweaters and boots. Ah well. Tempting though it may be to mourn summer’s demise, let’s look on the bright side. It’s October, peeps! Fall colors, crisp chill in the air, everything under the sun made with pumpkin, everything under the sun made with apples, and, oh yeah. Halloween!

To be honest, I’m not actually a costume kinda gal, so Halloween parties don’t do much for me. On the other hand, Halloween also means horror movies. Scary, spine-tingling, watching-with-one-eye covered spooky thrillers. Yippee! To be clear, horror movies for me are not slasher gore fests. Too much blood and guts just becomes more gross than ghoulish. What I want from my horror movies is a good and proper scare. The kind where you’re curled up into a ball on your couch, feeling the hairs on your head standing straight up, wanting to look away but no way in hell do you dare. Those are the fun ones, the ones worth many repeat views. I remember the first time I saw When A Stranger Calls, the 1979 version. Teenage babysitter alone in the house with kids sleeping upstairs. She starts getting creepy ass phone calls replete with heavy breathing in which a stranger keeps asking if she’s “checked the children.” Suspense builds as the scare-o-meter jumps with every call until finally, after the babysitter asks the police to trace the calls it’s discovered that they’re coming from inside the house!!! Ahhh!!

That’s the kind of horror movie I’m talking about. And yet, being a true Lady of Smut, I’ll readily admit that if a horror movie also weaves in sensual, sexy, even erotic elements into the plot, it’s icing on the spooky cake. The primal fear and desire instincts work in the horror genre, both on film and in print. Why? I think film writer Martyn Conterio aptly explains it this way: Horror films can be seen as the battleground between the mind and the body. Between fears and pleasures of the flesh. Eroticism is a striking feature of so many classics and cult movies, whether forming a small part of the overall experience or more explicitly focused. Psychological terrain explored in nightmare movies can be freaky, scary and downright weird. For it is true that sex and death rule the cinematic imagination as they rule life.

There are now four weekends until Halloween, four weekends in which to enjoy sexy scary flicks. But what to watch? How to know what works? Why, I thought you’d never ask. Below, in no particular order, some suggestions to get your sexy spook on.

First off, let me say something about vampire flicks. Sex and biting go as well together as butts and plugs. Or…well, you get the point. It works. We all know vampires are hot. This is by far the most prevalent theme in the erotic horror genre and there are several scary sexy vamp movies to choose from, including:

the-hunger

Late, great David Bowie, feeling hungry

The Hunger. David Bowie, Susan Sarandon, Catherine Deneuve. Sexy vampire Deneuve needs a new lover when her current one (Bowie) starts aging too fast. She sets her sights on Susan Sarandon. Lesbian vampire sex! And if you need more where that comes from…

Daughters of Darkness. A tale featuring that most ruthless of beauty seekers, Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who killed virgins so she could bathe in their blood and perpetuate her youth. When a young couple has the misfortune of crossing her path, it’s curtains for the husband, but the Countess decides that his young wife is just the lover she’s been seeking. The two women eventually kill the husband and drink his blood and have hot lesbian relations. Yummy! And lastly on this theme:

Vampyros Lesbos. Just like it sounds.

bram-stokers-draculaDracula. I’m specifically talking about the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola version. Keanu Reeves gets down and dirty with three hot Brides of Dracula. This movie has made numerous “sexiest erotic horror movies ever made” lists. Decide for yourself whether you agree.

Thirst. Korean director Chan-wood Park’s spin on a vamp tale, this one involves a priest who gets infected during a blood transfusion and turns into a vampire. The interesting part of this set-up is that in his former life the priest had made a decision to avoid those tempting sins of the flesh. After his transformation, however…well, he feels a little different.

For some non-vampire sexy scares, let me suggest:

Cat People. This is another one on several critics’ “best erotic horror” lists, largely due to the provocative performance of 21-year-old Nastassja Kinski. She plays a young woman descended from an ancient bloodline causing her to mutate into a murderous blank panther after having sex. Kinski prowls about the film like the panther she is, oozing sex appeal with every scene. Oh, and the skinny dipping scene is hot, too.

Jennifer’s Body. Mean Girl Megan Fox is a succubus who must dine on man flesh to stay alive. Yeah, OK, it’s vampire-ish, but not in the classical sense. Written by Diablo Coty (she of Juno fame), Jennifer’s Body is silly and campy, scary and hot.

Hellraiser. Clive Barker’s S&M zombie flick will be 30 years old next year but hasn’t aged a bit in failing to seduce and scare.

And last but not least…Under the Skin. Never heard of this one? You’re in popular company. Scarlett Johansson plays The Female, a woman who gallivants around Scotland seducing men before ending their lives through submersion in a giant vat of black liquid. ScarJo gives us plenty of skin, and so do others. This isn’t a typical Hollywood film and some have criticized its slow pace. But for sure it’s got the creep factor, and the nakedness, and the seductive pull of a good erotic horror.

Have I left anything out? A sexy fright you think should be on the list? Give me a shout in the comments, and pass the popcorn.

Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires

 

 

Servant of the Undead, erotic zombie horror free read

15 May

By Isabelle Drake

Each Sunday, I’ll be offering up a part of my serialized erotic zombie horror story, Servant of the Undead. You loyal Lady Smutters will recall I wrote about this dark, dirty story a little while ago.

No, without further ado, let’s get you started with Servant of the Undead.Servant

Part 1: “Do it.”

Hayden Thomas shifted on the wooden captain’s chair, trying without success to ease the
stiffness in his spine. Whoever selected the chairs for the Boston Public Library obviously never sat in them. The damn things had no armrests and were crammed so close together Bates Hall looked like a cafeteria. Except for the green desk lamps and rows of bookcases lining the wood paneled walls of the vast, deserted room. Hayden leaned back, placing his palms on the small of his back as he stretched.

Fine, it did look like a library. And it was everything the city claimed it to be, historical, well-cared for, and a fucking architectural gem. He just didn’t want to be there, digging through old books sane people shouldn’t care about. As if on cue his phone flashed. He picked it up and read the message. That article will be done tonight. Right? You’ll have something fresh. Right?

As if he had a choice.

Hayden tapped in his reply, yes and yes, then shoved the phone in his pocket. He wasn’t going to look at it again until he had what he needed. Something fresh. What the hell did that mean anyway? A paycheck. Control over his future. Little things like that. So he’d come to the library, to look through actual books. He’d scanned through several about werewolves then set aside the ones on vampires when he found the ones he needed.

Coming to the library had been a good idea. Not only had he found fresher content than the guys only using the internet, he’d also made a video clip of the inside with his webcam. He might be able to use that on the paper’s website as part of the series. A scholarly approach to give the piece an air of authority. Bob would love the irony of that.

“Lights in this section getting turned off early. ‘Bout twenty minutes.”

The security guard had come up behind Hayden and was standing in the aisle between the rows of gleaming wood tables. He motioned toward the expansive windows that started at the top of the bookshelves and reached up about fifteen feet to the domed ceiling. “Snowmaggeddon, man. Everybody’s leaving. You should too.”

Outside, snow whipped against the glass, so fierce and bright that even though the sun had gone down an hour ago the white blast was still visible. The bloated flakes brushed against the glass, spun in circles, creating a delicate, menacing spiral. Shit. A storm. As if he didn’t have enough to deal with. He’d promised Rachelle, a girl he’d started seeing, that he’d be done with the article that night so they could “do something fun, something crazy” tomorrow. Hayden eyed the stack of books surrounding his laptop.

“Do you have a photocopy machine?” he asked, scanning the area behind the guy.

“Yeah.” The guard looked at the piles of books, his mouth twisting into a frown as his gaze skimmed over the titles. “Where’d you find those?”

“In the scary monster section, under Z for zombies.”

“Seriously, dude. I need to learn how to protect myself.” The man whipped a folded newspaper out of his back pocket and brandished it, showing the headline. “It’s all in here—Zombies Flooding Beantown Streets, Hungry for Human Flesh.” Hayden didn’t need to see it in print because he’d come up with it when Bob insisted they write some pieces connected to the comic convention beginning that upcoming weekend.

“You believe what you read in The Boston Weekly?”

“They wouldn’t print it if it wasn’t true.” The man folded the paper and tucked it back into his pocket. “Or could be true.”

No wonder Bob Keeler had enough money to live in Chestnut Hill.

“The copier?”

The man pointed to a hall tucked between two bookcases. “It’s down there. But like I said, you better get going.” He stepped away then turned back, his gaze hopping from one book to the next before finally landing on Hayden’s face. “Snowmaggeddon. Zombies. Be careful. Article says to avoid isolated places and stay with others.”

“I get it,” Hayden assured him, using his firmest professor voice, the one he’d perfected while being a grad assistant at Boston College.

The guy gave Hayden the once over, doubt lining his face as he turned, the folded paper waving at Hayden as he marched off.

That teacher voice was handy, but according to Rachelle, he used it—and the attitude that came with it—too much. She complained about his work ethic and said they needed to have more ‘epic fun’. How was he supposed to have any kind of fun when he had years of student loan payments coming his way and only a one page CV to deal with them?

d40574bec76925c961a59063b71e087fHe swung out of the chair, grabbed the three books he hadn’t gotten to yet, and headed for the hall. The photocopier, positioned under a rectangular window, hummed in the dimly lit space. He lifted the lid, set the book on the glass surface and started flipping through, scanning for the chapter he needed for his research. Research. Right. There was a euphemism. He jerked through the pages, black-eyed stares and ragged clothes flashed past. Good God. Zombies. Why did people waste their time with this sort of thing?

But Bob Keeler was convinced that because Rodney McKinnon, star of Zombie Rites, was coming to the comic convention, that if the paper featured anything having to do with zombies, especially something fresh, that he’d sell thousands of copies. The man was crazy. Sure, Boston was going to be overrun with comic book freaks. But those people were educated, right? They didn’t believe zombies were real. So why would they want to read about them?

Hayden flipped to a chapter where the zombies looked like regular, live, people. No rotting flesh, no odd jerky movements. His skin prickled. What if you couldn’t tell a zombie from a human? He paused at a drawing made by an eyewitness, a so-called zombie tracker. Apparently, the witness spent an entire summer stalking on a tribe believed to take part in hazing rituals that included a lot of sex. The drawing showed two men, bare-chested and wearing chaps. One, with a rope tied around his waist, leaned against a tree while the other man tied the opposite end of rope to the trunk, tying him up like a dog he didn’t want getting away. Hayden lifted the book closer. They weren’t wearing anything under the chaps. And the tied-up guy had a huge boner.

He turned the page. More drawings. The guy tied to the tree held the ass of a woman and was pounding that boner into her. Apparently, the witness had in mind to document the entire ritual. There were five more drawings, each one showing the man fucking a different woman while others watched. And all the women looked very satisfied. And willing.

Hayden’s cock stiffened.

Okay, so they’re people into group sex, but where was the proof they were zombies? Proof that zombies are real. He snickered. That would be fresh, so that’s what he needed. What he didn’t need was the distraction of a rock-hard dick. He reached down and shifted the zipper on his khakis.

The last page in the section outlined the zombie tracker’s theory of that particular tribe’s sexuality. Those zombies could remain “alive” by either eating human flesh or through frequent sex. The sex method worked because the live human passed out afterward, giving the zombie an opportunity to escape. Sometimes humans were taken as sexual servants, kept like pets and used for sustenance. The sexual hazing rituals were designed to encourage survival skills and teach tools to acquire and use humans.

Overhead, a window squeaked open. Gusts of snow flew in. Fingers scratched at the sill, clawing at the wood trim. A full hand appeared, covered with a black fingerless glove. The other hand appeared. Then a forearm, wrapped in red wool, an elbow, bare skin peaking out between the strips of red. A mass of tangled hair, a mix of brown and red, popped through the opening. One of the hands reached over, swiping the hair away. Two brown eyes, rimmed with smudgy make-up peered down.

~~~~~

Need more? Part 2 “Do it Now.”

Until then follow Lady Smut, we’re always here to inform, entertain, and keep you up to date.

~~~~~

Isabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, urban fantasy, and young adult thrillers. Best Friends Never, her newest release is the first in the Cherry Grove dark YA series.

On The Run–From Zombies! (Post-Apocalyptic Menage)

12 May

imgresby Madeline Iva

FLESH by Kylie Scott is an excellent erotic romance read.  There are many things to love about it.

ON THE RUN! I love books where there is a lot of tension and an edge of danger, don’t you?  Where the sex is a release from all the built up pressure.  It’s not just sex for sex’s sake–which is wonderful in real life of course–but in an erotic romance I like my plots a little more chewy.

FROM ZOMBIES! There are rattles at the door, bumps in the night.  Kylie Scott just does a very good job of keeping us aware that it’s an oogie world out there, better cuddle up tight with someone where it’s safe (for now) and find a little shelter from the (sh**) storm (for now).

So, Kylie’s heroine, Ali, has come out of her hidey hole to score some food and runs into a guy, who in my mind (since Kylie is an Aussie) I saw as Hugh Jackman.  Daniel is very tall with brown hair, crinkles at the corners of his eyes, and has an open, optimistic demeanor.

Some might quarrel with the love at first sight motif, but this is a post-apocalyptic land.  Anyone who is not gross biker-gang scum is someone worthy of insta-lurv.  If only out of sheer gratitude that, finally, after weeks and months, you’ve encountered someone who doesn’t want to eat your brains.

Now loving someone at first sight can easily be conflated with wanting to boink someone at first site. Wanting to boink at first site is very common in erotic romance.  “I’ve just laid eyes on you and I want to f**k you bad/hard/right now.

Okay, let me say this: even thought it’s a very common motif, it just doesn’t do it for me.  I don’t mind a dude who falls in love at first sight, but keep it to yourself, will ya? And even more important–keep it in your pants until you get to know me a little, please.  I can’t help what I look like.  That, as Tyra says, was mommy and daddy’s work.  But the inner me?  This is something I’ve cultivated, and it means more to me if you get to know and like the inner me than it does if you simply drool all over the outer shell.

Okay–getting off my soap box now.

Yet this is how Daniel reacts to Ali. He drools helplessly and overtly.  You can see however, that although he *wants* to be cool about it, he can’t.  Yet he tries to be all me-and-you-for-eternity-yes? in as friendly a way as possible.

Despite that, I still kept thinking, “It’s the end of the world, and on top of all my other problems some random guy is pressuring me for sex? I would find that quite irritating.” And indeed, Ali is irritated by Dan at first.  But that’s my particular quirk, reader.  Dan knows he’s coming on strong.  We see Dan struggle with himself and lose.  He’s just a good guy gone horny in a crazy world.  Some readers will find this endearing.

Me, I hung in there.  And as I read along, I kept thinking I wish he was a little more cool about Ali.  I wish he was a little less focussed on her and more on the problems at hand.  Because we all know that the competent guy is so hot in these situations.  (I’m looking at you Daryl.)

...And hot cop makes 3. I love a menage where one of the guys comes with handcuffs.

…And hot cop makes 3. I love a menage where one of the guys comes with handcuffs.

It was like Kylie Scott read my mind!

Enter Finn.  A little less impressed with Ali, and a lot cooler than Dan, Finn is at a distance on his motor bike, scouting out the duo. He’s not just gorgeous, Finn also turns out to be quite deadly, and more prepared to wipe out the nasty biker-gang scum they unexpectedly run across at the nearest derelict grocery store.

I love repressed emotions as much as the next girl, and as soon as Finn is sitting around with Ali who’s fretting because Daniel might or might not be dead, and he’s wanting her badly, and hiding it so it’s not obvious to her, Kylie Scott hit all my happy buttons.  Finn was definitely my guy.  And when events take a menage turn (as one knew they would) and Finn says he likes to ‘be in control’ and gets a little BDSM-y lite, I was even happier.

All-in-all FLESH was exactly what I wanted to read this week, and Kylie Scott is an excellent, talented erotic romance author. I’ll definitely be checking out her other books as well.  Full disclosure: I heard FLESH was awesome, so I asked Kylie for a free copy to read and she gave it to me.

Speaking of ON THE RUN — our Elizabeth Shore has a new book out this week that’s all the way on the other end of the erom spectrum.

The end of an awful marriage might be the beginning of something smoking hot. Click to buy.

The end of an awful marriage might be the beginning of something smoking hot. Click to buy.

It’s a historical about a heroine named Lucy, falsely accused of murder–and therefore, also on the run. She flees to London, assumes the name of Catherine Sheffield, and tries to avoid the dreadful history of her marriage catching up with her.  Won’t you follow this link to Amazon and take a peek?

So what books have you read with an On the Run theme? Any good one’s lately? There are so many great variations including: run and hide, on the lam (from the law), etc.  Tell us your favorite titles in the comments section.  🙂  And if you’ve read any other hot Kylie Scott novels, let me know!

Meanwhile, make sure to follow us at Lady Smut.  We’ll lead you right to the good stuff and keep you out of handcuffs.  That is, unless you *want* to wear handcuffs. ; >

Madeline Ivaimgres writes fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance.  Her novella ‘Sexsomnia’ is available in our LadySmut anthology HERE, and her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, will be out Fall, 2016.

 

 

 

 

Torn fishnet stockings and sex in cages. Or, how I got started writing erotic zombie horror

25 Mar

By Isabelle Drake

Write about zombies? Not me. Write about zombies who feed off sex? Well, that’s more likely. Add in a horror element–now I’m all in.

ServantJanuary of 2011 I was about halfway through my MFA in Creative Writing. We were given a writing prompt that, we were told, was designed to push us “out of our comfort” zone. The assignment: read a tabloid newspaper, like The Weekly World News, long time supporter of Bat Boy, or the National Enquirer, currently keeping readers up to date on the happenings with Matilda, the Cat from Another Planet, then write a scene based on one of the features. Being the good student that I was, I dug right in to the assignment.

The two articles that inspired me most:

Zombie Barbies! by Frank Lake of the Weekly World News

A Very Zombie Holiday also by Frank Lake

Since I was soon to be on my way to Boston, I was also inspired by a very real blizzard wrapping its way around the East coast.

Before I move on to the rest of my account of how I started to write erotic zombie horror, I should mention that prior to beginning my MFA program I had already publisher about ten novels, fifteen novellas, and twelve short stories. Give or take a few in each category. All of them were written to make readers happy, many were romances of all heat levels, and nearly all were “commercial.” And, to be honest, pretty much all of the stories were written with the end goal of selling them. Like, for money. I mention this last part about the money because in the literary community writers are often paid with contributor copies or not at all. So, I entered my MFA program with the mindset that the work I produced should be, could be, salable. Enter this assignment.

Even before my fingers typed the first word, I was already planning to write not only one scene, but a whole story that my readers would be excited about reading. In the winter of 2011, I was writing all erotica and erotic romance. So, the story had to have sex. Problem: sex scenes with yucky rotting zombies would not be…pretty. Or alluring. Solution: attractive zombies. Logical solution: zombies that live off sex. Even better solution logical solution: zombies that live off sex with human captives. That’s right, as long as they have enough sex with their human captives, they stay attractive. Bonus to the improved solution: sex scenes will be necessary and part of the storyline.legs

The current East Coast blizzard intrigued me because it had shut down entire cities, halted travel. That sort of thing doesn’t, or rather didn’t, happen very often. What if zombies roamed an entire frozen city? A city held hostage to a fierce winter storm? One thing that came to my mind, zombies don’t feel the cold. That’s creepy. I took that idea and went with it. Soon, my tribe of sex zombies had extraordinary strength, from all that sex no doubt, and the ability to climb ice coated buildings. The last thing I needed was a zombie. An sexy, aggressive sex-hungry zombie. My inspiration? Zombie Barbie. Once my imagination was done with her, she was built like an Amazon goddess, wearing a mini-skirt, torn fishnets, and heavy black boots. Simply put. Mattie is a badass who takes what, and who, she wants. Her victim? A tabloid newspaper writer named Hayden.

Servant of the Undead breaks some of the “rules.” For one thing, the point of view character is male. Hayden’s capture and subsequent servicing, read: giving Mattie the sex she craves, is the main storyline. The other thing, he is the captive, not her. So, to see what readers think of this role-reversal, I decided to post the novel on Wattpad, the free, online reading community. I post a new part every Friday. Each part is about 1000 words long and features a “fishnet” video.

meThe fishnet videos, like the story itself, are an “accidental” creation. I did not set out to use myself to promote Servant. But after looking for images that suited my story and uncompromising zombie Mattie, I came up empty. My solution to this dilemma: put on my own leather mini, torn fishnets, and boots, then go out into my backyard and make my own pics and videos. I imagine I looked a tad eccentric wandering around my backyard, climbing on my woodpile and such, dressed that way and with a hoodie, undone hair and no makeup, but hey–I’m a writer. The neighbors know I’m weird.

You can check out Servant of the Undead on Wattpad, let me know what you think about that role reversal, then come back every Friday for the next part of the story. Want to be sure you don’t miss any? Add the Servant to your Wattpad Reading List.

Isabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, and urban fantasy. Her most recent novel, Off the Rails, is a romantic comedy about a girl faced with one of life’s most challenging events: the high school reunion.

Because you want more Lady Smut, follow us here and on Facebook. We’re here to rock your world in all the ways you like.

Anywhere But Here: Why We Love Another Time, Another Place in Romance

3 Mar

by Madeline Iva

Hey lady-kittens.  I’m off on a trip tomorrow.  Hoping to see the sea, shore birds, sand—even some alligators if I get lucky. 🙂  For once, I’m excited to travel, happily packing up and running errands around town, getting fancy chocolates for the folks we’ll be visiting. And Just. In. Time. Cause I realized last night I am ready to be anywhere but here.

960THE GLORIOUS 20’s:

I realized this while I was watching THE DANISH GIRL the other night, which is a sweetly tragic tale of the first person to get a sex change operation.  But what I noticed most about the film was not the gender politics at play, but the sets, the costumes–it was set in the 20’s and so very gorgeous!  I cannot believe how intensely I wanted to just live in that twenties world.

Some of that may also have had to do with the film’s plot. Just as Einar is becoming Lily for good, his wife Gerta must wrestle with the fact that saying ‘hello’ to Lili, means saying goodbye to Einar –i.e. goodbye to their sex life (Lili’s preference, not necessarily Gerta’s), goodbye to having a husband, and goodbye to financial support.  Gerta’s up to the challenge, but she’s emotionally wrung.

Just at that point Matthais Schoenfield shows up.  200_sYou remember Matthais, don’t you? He was Mr. Oat in FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD.  So hot. So sympathetic! He arrives and really wants to, um, console Gerta.  Thank goodness! It’s just such a sad, sad, sweet film, it needed a injection of sex to hotten it up at that point.

I tried writing a post about THE DANISH GIRL, which was a fictionalized novel first but got tangled up with all my questions, despite liking the film.  (Why another tragic tale of transgender-hood? Why not a triumphant one? Why does being a ‘real woman’ mean being a mother when being a real man doesn’t seem to include being a father?) At ANY RATE, the upshot was that I was drooling more over the costumes and settings than I was the film.

I’m in a phase where I’m just done with contemporary romance and the here and now for awhile.

HISTORICALS: — yes, please!  In the words of Liz Lemon I want to go to there.  Last weekend I found myself fuming that there were not another five or ten romance novels as perfect as Pride & Prejudice that I could pick up and read.

GOT GOTHIC ROMANCE? I got me some! A novel by friend Elf Ahern, A ROGUE IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING, and I can’t wait to dive into it on the plane.  Think I may have to watch CRISMON PEAK again too.  I’m just chittering for anything Gothic.  If you have some good Gothic romance recommendations–please leave them in the comments section below. I’m all ears!

I mean, this cover is to die!

I mean, this cover is to die!

DARK CASTLES & MAD SCIENTISTS — sounds good to me! I got this book I’ve been drooling over from afar for a long time.  Don’t know why Samhain felt the need to retitle it and change the cover — but it’s original title was FRANKENDOM (now called Julian’s Sins), and sometimes a girl just needs a little cray-cray BDSM to bright up her day, you know?

DEEP SPACE: Sure! Just re-read Charlotte Stein’s THE HORIZON.  So good.  So very very good.  A quick little novella with moment by moment tension of the Did-he-just-say-that-and-is-my-face-now-exploding-in-response kind of stuff that is to my mind the best kind of erom writing evaaaaaaaaah!

I have been working hard lately.  There’s a whole lot of adulting going on in our house and plenty more to deal with (Can you say bathroom remodeling?) Don’t get me wrong–it’s all good, and I’m very happy, but the introverted reader part of me has just got to go away for awhile.

And I mean far far away, even if it’s only in my head with a good book for a few hours.

All in all this little trip is coming just in time.  Going to go sync my kindle and say shhhh! to anyone who tries to interrupt my reading for the next few days.  Unless they’re pointing out an alligator. ; >

Madeline Ivaimgres writes fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance.  Her novella ‘Sexsomnia’ is available in our LadySmut anthology HERE, and her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, will be out Spring, 2016.

Crimson Peak: More Bloody Than a Tampon–And I Relished it

18 Feb
Got a sinister hero? Then you've got my interest.

Got a sinister hero? Then you’ve got my interest.

by Madeline Iva

I was attracted to the preview for Crimson Peak, and even more attracted to Tom Hiddleston, who stars in it. Yet I couldn’t tell from the preview if the movie was a horror film or romantic suspense.  Not loving horror films, I waited to watch it on video where I could fast forward through the scream-y parts if need be.

I shouldn’t have worried. Crimson Peak is a Gothic Romantic Suspense movie—capital G, emphasis on the ick.

Gothic? Horror? Gothic-horror? What’s the difference, you’re wondering. Some say it’s not horror if there’s no blood splatter on the wall. Oh, Crimson Peak has blood splatter a-plenty. Not just on the walls, but also the carpet, the snow, the clothes, the skin. Never since Carrie has a movie audience been so drenched in red dyed corn-syrup.

But a Gothic sensibility is all about the build up. We revel in the hints of secrets, and spend a lot of suspenseful time wondering what—what chilling secret could be in the creepy investigator’s file? In the locked rooms of the ancient hall, in the gooey red brick pits in the basement, in the locked luggage next to the gooey pits…

We’re looking for twisted hidden secrets. We want them revealed and brought out into the light of day–or at least twilight if that’s all there is to be had in the gloomy climate of Northern England. The dangerous horror part is only a small component of the whole.  We’re much more involved in the building psychological strain and suspense. (What could it beeeeee in that bedroom?)

Excellent Gothic stories always ends with a goodly amount of implosion. We want the mansion destroyed by fire, we want the mad-woman jumping off the roof–only to drown in the pond.  We want the carriage plunging over a cliff. (Bonus points for managing such a feat without harming the horses.)

In this way, CRIMSON PEAK is most definitely a gothic movie. I was worried about horror elements, when in fact (SPOILER ALERT!)

what we have here is merely……really ugly ghosts, trying to deliver helpful messages.

What the movie doesn’t deliver in horror, it delivers in gothic architecture and gowns. Is there any better satisfaction for the Gothic enthusiast than a once-gorgeous house pocked with decay like swiss cheese? Better yet is the house that delivers some weird and extravagant folly. Fluttering moths on the walls? Check.  Mine shaft in the basement? Check. (Yes, I’m not kidding, there really is!)

HouseCrimson Peak’s also got gothic quatrafoil bannisters, fan vault trim, and oculus glass up the wazoo. Spindle carvings drips from beamed ceilings panels, and gingerbread sprawls across the stairwells. It’s like being in heaven for those who know they really belong in hell.

Gowns billow in haunted breezes, Nightgowns hug the neck like a confining clasp of a strangler.  Robes of silk outline heaving breasts, and glorious hip length locks run in a dark river across the neck and down the ribs. Do I sound orgasmic? I was. I still am, a little.

TomTom Hiddleston is the anti-hero who stands in the center of all this wanton glory. Is there any better man to play a twisted romantic hero? I think not.

Tom…Tom…let me count the ways.

His intelligent sensitivity, his understated sensuality…his ice blue eyes that nevertheless melt with innate sympathy, yet tragic acceptance that no…there’s no help for you.

I get ovary spasms just from listening to the way he explains what Gothic romance is on Charlie Rose and how repressed sexuality bursts forth in ghosts, mayhem and horror —

Jessica Chastain, meanwhile, plays his evil sister in a repressed matronly way worthy of Mrs. Danvers (The nasty housekeeper in REBECCA). We’re not quite so interested in her while Tom is on screen–how could we be?  But at the same time, yeah, she’s workin it.

Frankly, I would have been just as happy if they decided to change the tale to that of a twisted incestuous couple who rid themselves of the shallow American heiress so they can live in lecherous macabre delight—an alternative HEA. (What’s that I hear?—It’s the sound of a thousand fan fiction posts launching on Wattpad.)

JessicaBut Crimson Peak is not a perfect movie for us Gothic fans. Alas, there are bad American accents, cheesy overdone bloody effects.  I like over the top as the much as anybody, and didn’t mind the costumes and sets (who doesn’t like a mind shaft in a basement? Or leaves and snow falling gently through the gaping hole in the ceiling?) But the blood-like clay seeping from the walls? Okay…a leetle bit over done. Actually WAY overdone. Why Guillermo? Why? The writer/director crossed the line a few times, and in doing so seemed to aim his movie towards a less refined audience. Sad.

However I respect any movie in which two women, heroine and villainess, battle it out at the end. I warn those of you who couldn’t hack the Psycho shower scene to quickly avert your eyes during their epic throw down. Talk about death by a thousand cuts—and in billowing bloodstained nightgowns!

Back to our Gothic Rules of Attraction. I like it that the heroine loves the bad guy, Tom Hiddleston (again a favorite trope) even after she discovers his dark secrets. Does he loves her? Agh! We sit and wonder. And! If he does love her–can they get out of that house alive together before it tumbles down and sinks into the oozing clay, a la The House of Usher?*Gown

That’s the question that kept me going all the way through the gory ending.

Alas, this movie was a little watered down for my taste. A little more lowbrow than it needed to be. I liked chewing on parts of it, but the best of gothic suspense tradition is not about hack and slash, it’s all about the revealing twitch of an eyebrow, the moment the locked door creaks open and our heroine will never again be innocent again.

*I’ve always wanted to own a house that comes with a black tarn.

Thanks for tuning in, readers! And follow us at Lady Smut, where we devote ourselves to bringing you shivery, sexy fun.

Madeline Ivaimgres writes fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance.  Her novella ‘Sexsomnia’ is available in our LadySmut anthology HERE, and her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, will be out Spring, 2016.

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