Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Division (video game) review

    I'm preparing to do my second update of my corona virus self-quarantine journal but thought I'd take a time to talk about my experience playing through The Division games by Ubisoft. They are a very different game to play through than they were when they were first released. Both because both of them have been updated extensively and the whole viral apocalypse thing currently going on right now. This is not me attempting to undermine the real life tragedy going on but the fact the game really does have a lot more resonance than it did before. I'm not the only one to notice it either as Forbes did an article on it.

Does this remind you of anything?
  The premise is that the United States and other nations have been brought low by a worldwide disease called the Dollar Flu. An act of biological terrorism, it spreads on Black Friday throughout the United States and kills huge amounts of the population. The state collapses and an emergency order called Directive 51 is enacted, activating sleeper called the Division to "take back their nation" and restore order. The game takes place in New York City that has fallen to warlordism and a group of gangs that have driven back emergency services as well as the police. It is your job to shoot your way back into a stable society.

    I was initially off-put by the game's seemingly fascist overtones. Executing fellow Americans without trial in the middle of the streets was a hard sell in 2016 and hasn't really gotten more palatable. However, the atmosphere of a breakdown in civility and order following a natural disaster has gotten more relatable with people fighting over toilet paper in the super-market. I've lived through a number of natural disasters here in Kentucky and summarize the experience as, "Most people are a few missed meals away from becoming Mad Max Raiders."

Central Park is a field hospital. Oh dear.
    I turned out to be prematurely judging The Division's political content as well. Unlike Extra Credits, which reads a great deal into the Division being about preserving property over life, the game makes it abundantly clear the primary purpose of Division agents is to re-establish supply lines. The people you shoot in the game aren't being shot because they're looters, they're being shot because they're murdering people to hoard resources.

    While I would have appreciated fighting a bunch of Wallstreet bankers and their hired security, this is about setting up free hospitals and turning the lights on. The Division also has numerous characters question whether the Division is doing more harm than good with numerous members of the organization going rogue. You might be a decent Division agent but the power, violence, and training has turned a bunch of them into Bond villains. Indeed, for such a apolitical game of Good vs. Evil, it's become a scarily critical of the incompetence of the government that mirrored some of this version's actions.
The Sanitation Union has taken up new hobbies.

    Honestly, I think the game's vision of New York is easily the best part of it. The visual storytelling is better than any previous game I've played and that includes Skyrim or Fallout 3. A thousand little stories are told with details like the garbage piling up, apartments that had been fortified into little shelters, and the mass graves created with trenches dug throughout Central Park. The game is absolutely gorgeous and one of the most evocative I've ever played.

    Unfortunately, the world-building is pretty much where the storytelling begins and ends. The NPCs are barely present and almost the entirety of the story can be skipped as it requires you to hunt down audiologs to listen to. They're not even strategically placed like the ones in Bioshock but actually scattered across the map in very different places to find. Much like every other open world Ubisoft game, there's hundreds of collectibles scattered across the map of dubious value.

I wish I could have played this game.
    The game could have heavily expanded its cutscenes and NPCs in single-player with an option to skip but it seemed determined to get you to the shooting as possible, which is a shame. I also, annoyingly, object to the fact you can't listen to the radio with your Division headset. This seems like a game that needed that to be added to your Pip Boy 3000 equivalent. Maybe adding music would have been too expensive or detracted from the mood but I would have at least enjoyed listening to the narrator outside of safehouses.

    Which brings me to the gameplay, which is sadly something I choose to describe as aggressively mediocre. It's cover-based shooter with a strong focus on looting clothes as well as weapons from the dead in order to slightly increase your scores. I'm fond of this in Borderlands as well as Destiny but it's a bit annoying going from +1 extra points on your magic sword to +1 extra on your scarf. The fact that enemies are bullet sponges despite being normal people, not even armored ones, also undermines the realism of the setting.

The weather effects deserve their own praise.
   In one of the easiest observations ever made, the game is a lot more fun if you're playing with friends or even acquaintances online. The games missions seem to be made with the idea you won't be soloing them. Indeed, the first mission where I fought a boss all by myself took about eighteen tries. There was no way to level grind before this happens and the game then dumps you into a wide-open world where it's sometime before you're equipped enough to handle encounters without frustration. The fact you can frequently re-spawn two or three minutes of walking/jogging away can also be a source of great frustration.

    I have no real interest in PVP so I can't comment on the Dark Zone arena that occupies a third of the map but the stories I've heard from my friend basically indicate it is unnaturally scaled to the hardcore players. They have the best gear and have grinded them to be almost invincible. Thankfully, I have always preferred PVE instead. As much as the game was a bit grindy and could have used more enemy variety, I came to like the Rioters and Cleaners a great deal as factions.  I admit I would have joined the Cleaners if I could since a bunch of garbage men with flame throwers deserves points for originality.

This isn't a cinematic. This is the actual graphics.
    I'll be honest, the game is a grind but it's the enjoyable busywork kind of grind that does take advantage of its unique arena. The AI in the game is good with the enemies using decent tactics as well as a mixture of shooting, grenades, and sometimes special abilities. The variety is nothing to write home about (as mentioned above) but I rarely disliked fighting the enemies. Upgrading the Home Office of the Division from disaster zone to fully functional hospital, tech lab, and police station was also something that I got a real thrill out of. It reminded me of Club Purgatory in Saints Row 2, which I always enjoyed turning from an underground rat hole into a sexy nightclub.

    Either way, I'm glad I stuck with The Division. I don't think I would have appreciated it as much without being quarantined but I'm glad I did pick it up as a discounted title. I've been informed many of the adventure varieties and relatively smooth gameplay is the result of many fixes over the past few years. I think this was well worth the thirty dollars I paid for it but I had a bunch of frustrations along the way. Still, if you want to game a scenario that addresses the seriousness of our times, this is an ironic and sadly prophetic story.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Star Trek: Picard season one review

    Picard was a series that I was tremendously excited about. Like a lot of Trekkies my age, I grew up on the adventures of Captain Jean Luc Picard rather than Captain Kirk, Sisko, Janeway, or Archer. I watched him and the Galaxy-Class version of the Enterprise deal with everything from Q to the Borg. The Next Generation may not have always been amazing. I slightly prefer Deep Space Nine, but it was a classic that stands alongside the best of the original series or movies. Captain Picard was a stuffier, more idealistic, and less action-focused leader than Captain Kirk. Well, at least when he wasn't hooking up with Vash or doing Die Hard like in "Starship Mine."

      I was a bit iffy about Patrick Stewart coming back to do a sequel show to Star Trek: The Next Generation, though. No offense to a classically trained actor and someone healthy for his age, but he's seventy-nine years old and that's an odd time to take on a major career project unless you're going to do the majority of it sitting. Also, I wasn't sure I trusted the current holders of the Star Trek IP to deliver a satisfying look into the future of Roddenberry's vision. Was there still room for that sort of idealistic science fiction in the 21st century? Well, yes and no.

    The setting for Picard is a wounded Federation. Some people have said it's a darker Federation but I don't think that's the case. Synthetic life-forms have been banned in the Federation after the Mars colony was destroyed along with its entire population in what appeared to be a robot revolt. This happened during the destruction of Romulus via supernova. As such, 900,000,000 Romulans were not evacuated who might have been during the backstory of the 2009 Star Trek reboot. Worse, Romulan refugees are not appreciated within the borders of the Federation.

     I say wounded instead of darker despite the uncomfortable similarities to 9/11, Brexit, and the Trump administration that the creators have said they were dealing with because I don't think it's actually malevolent. It's made some questionable decisions but no overtly evil ones. The Federation has always been slightly behind, sometimes even antagonistic to our heroes, even when they are still the most enlightened people in the Quadrant.

    Aside from the endless parade of insane Admirals, there's a never-ending stream of horrifying events that the Federation was willing to let slide because of the Prime Directive. Really, I'm honestly surprised they were willing to evacuate any Romulans given it seemed the definition of an "internal matter" but perhaps they were planning to do Khitomer Accords 2.0. Kudos if you get that reference and aren't on the Star Trek BBS.

    The premise homages "All Good Things" with Captain Picard having been forced to retire on his vineyard with no sign of his marriage to Beverly Crusher (though that doesn't mean it didn't happen). He's suffering from the same condition he was there and is living a half-life with only his Romulan workers for company. He also has dreams of Data, still dead after all of these years, that lead him to helping a mysterious young girl named Dahj. Romulan troopers soon attack and he is soon sent on a quixotic quest to find Dahj's sister Soiji.

    Picard gathers a small crews of oddballs and misfits from the fringe of both the Federation as well as Romulan space. It's distinctly different from other Star Trek stories because they all have the reserved and professional feel of Starfleet. This is much closer to something like Firefly, Farscape, or even Star Wars to an extent as a ragtag band of misfits is something we haven't really seen in Star Trek before. That isn't to say it's bad but it's something that we haven't seen before in a canon work.

    I like Picard's crew of the La Sirena with Alison Pill as Dr. Agnes Jurati, Evan Evangora as Elnor, Santiago Cabera as Cristobal "Chris" Rios, and Michelle Hurd as Rafaella "Raffi" Musiker. They are a robotocist in over her head, a Romulan samurai, Han Solo, and a substance abusing Space Marine. I also appreciate Isa Briones as the android twins Dahj and Soji as she feels like the most "typical" Federation citizen ironically enough. Some people may dislike that the crew seems to have so many problems in the post-scarcity Federation but I feel like this isn't too far from what we saw in Deep Space Nine or the Original Series.

    Perhaps the biggest surprise is the large role played by Jeri Ryan, reprising her role as Seven of Nine. She's changed from the emotionally stunted and repressed to becoming Commander Shepard of Mass Effect. She's an butt-kicking, hard-drinking, and utterly take no prisoners action heroine that is also something we've seen before in Star Trek but not from a man. I think of her as probably how Tasha Yar might have been if not for network standards and practices of the late Eighties. Still, it's going to contrast with the memories of many fans.

    The villains of the series are a somewhat generic brother and sister pair of Romulans, Narissa and Narek, who are overtly evil. Harry Treadaway does a decent job making Narek seem like he has depths but Narissa is a bit scene chewingly evil. They're both very-very pretty people and that makes them watchable even in their most Cersei and Jaime Lannister-esque moments. The Zhat Vash is a "Tal Shiar within the Tal Shiar" and I don't really think that was necessary to add to Romulan lore.

   The plotline is, unfortunately, overly convoluted. There's a story about the banning of synths, a secret Romulan conspiracy, Data having daughters created from his neurons, Borg harvesting rings, a captured Borg cube, and an ancient prophecy that is built around a precursor race's marker. It comes together surprisingly well, much better than either of the two Discovery seasons, but it feels overly packed. Amazingly, I might have thrown out the couple of nostalgia episodes (despite those being the most entertaining in the series), to give the regular cast a chance to breathe.

    The show does suffer from an attempt to be darker and edgier. There's gratuitous swearing, sex, and violence. However, honestly, it's not that bad and I do think Star Trek could have been a little less sanitized regarding personal relationships. There's hints Seven of Nine is bisexual, for example, and that nicely retcons away Rick Berman's insistence homosexuality didn't exist for his decades of control over the franchise. In fact, I was kind of annoyed that it wasn't more overt that she had past romantic relationships with women.

    The action, special affects, and acting were all solid in this show. Indeed, I think the decision to hire excellent character actors I recognized from other programs was a solid decision. There's perhaps a bit too much reliance on past Star Trek incarnations but Trekkies are the original continuity fanatics. Overall, I really enjoyed this season and while I think they really need to stop being so overproduced in their episodes, I have a real strong hope for Star Trek's future.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Foreword to Psycho Killers: A Love Story

    I love slashers.

    A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween are the ones most people know but I'm a fan of many more. I also love the parodies, deconstructions, and homages that they've created over the years. You haven't got a full appreciation for the genre until you've tried Scream, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, and Tim Seeley's Hack/Slash. At the end of the book, I'll have a whole list of recommendations for movies and works that I think my audience will like. I even have a soundtrack plotted out.

    What is a slasher? A slasher is, in simple terms, a movie or piece of media that is about a murderous killer that is stalking a group of individuals that must struggle to survive against their attacker's rampage. A slasher can be an escaped mental patient, an immortal zombie, a ghost, or any number of other things. One quality most possess is a nebulous invincibility. They can attack you, hunt you, and stalk you with seemingly no ability to be stopped until the final confrontation (because then there wouldn't be a story). You can shoot them, stab them, or throw them off a roof and they'll just keep coming back. Running away from them is useful but they always seem to find a way to get ahead of you, even if they're only walking after you. They might wear a mask or they might not but each slasher has a depersonalized element that makes them like a supervillain. Very few, except for Freddy Krueger, are chatty and the majority are mute horrors.

    Facing against the slasher is usually the Final Girl. Conceived of in the academic work Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film by Carol J. Clover, they're basically the young women that manage to turn the table against slashers in the majority of said movies. Whether a babysitter or a sorority sister, they manage to turn the tables on the slasher after they have survived the death of several friends. Joss Whedon, without specifically naming this trope, used it as the basis for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He wanted to empower one of the victims in a horror movie so that when she went into an alley with a monster, she kicked said monster's ass.

    The original slasher story is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie of all people. The Queen of Locked Door Mysteries conceived of a group of scummy people trapped on an island before they were knocked off one by one. Psycho isn't really a slasher in the fact that it really only has a tiny body count but it's focus on the killer rather than the victim opened the way to many more murderer-focused films and stories. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Black Christmas would both debut within a few months of each other in 1974. They set the template for the gorier, crazier, and more survival-orientated horror movie that dominated the 80s. Movies like the ones I mentioned in my opening would become box office icons and they eventually became satirized as a formula in the 90s. We even had a successful show in 2006 about a serial killing vigilante named Dexter.

    But why a love story?

    Fans of my other work like the Supervillainy Saga, Agent G, Lucifer's Star, and Wraith Knight know that I enjoy doing stories from the perspective of villains. There's something awesome about getting into the perspective of the bad guy that I really enjoy. Here, I had a lot of fun playing with the making of a slasher, William, who had sympathetic qualities while also living in a culture that wanted him to be worse than he was. Contrasting him was the character of Nancy that I wrote as a love letter to my favorite Final Girls and probably would have been first to be murdered in most movies as she was a "bad" girl. The two of them travel through a crazy send-up of the tropes and attitudes of slasher movies that I have assembled here.

    I hope you enjoy their story.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins review

    THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins is a weird combination from the beginning as it's a Young Adult slasher novel. I spent much of my childhood watching R-rated movies like Alien, Robocop, Friday the 13th, and Terminator but the illicit thrill was in watching something you weren't supposed to. This is a rather strange combination of sweet teenage romance and then gutting people.

    I'm not sure that it wouldn't be R-Rated given the level of violence on display but it is definitely a teenage story too. This somewhat disjointed tone is both a complaint and a compliment as I would recommend this book to people who don't necessarily like slasher movies or hardcore horror. Its tone might put off those who are big fans of the genre, though, as it zigs when most examples of the genre zag.

    Makani Young is an Afro-Hawaiian student in Osborne, Nebraska where she sticks out like a sore thumb. Having done a nebulous "bad thing" that forced her to move in with her grandmother, she's trying to rebuild her life in a school she hates. The only bright spot in Makani's life is her sort-of boyfriend Ollie that she lost her virginity to but pushed away. Ollie is a pink-haired troublemaker with a heart of (seeming) gold. The two reconnect when one of their fellow students is murdered in her house and the body count starts to grow.

    The obvious comparison for this book is Wes Craven's Scream but the killer remains off-camera to a significant more degree than Ghostface. Here, the focus is squarely on Makani and Ollie for the most part as well as their romance. Even so, the book makes the wise decision to reveal who the killer is about halfway through the book. Before the revelation, the murders seem a bit disjointed and unrelated to the main plot.

    This isn't a mystery but a slasher and that's when the book starts to pick up steam. Some individuals may be disappointed with the killer's identity and motivation but the book makes clear that their absurdity is the point. Nothing could justify their killing spree and its randomness is part of the point. Sadly, the reality of a teenager snapping then going on a killing spree of their classmates means that this isn't a fantastical premise like it was in the 80s ala Heathers. The only difference between this killer and real world school killers is he uses a knife not a gun.

    I'm a big fan of slasher movies and horror so I'm always glad to see a serious work entered into the genre in a new medium. I think I like this a bit more than Riley Sager's Final Girls despite the fact the latter is more high concept but that's because it sticks to its landing far better. This feels more realistic and grounded, too, for whatever that counts in a slasher novel.

    In conclusion, if you're interested in a tame YA story to introduce other people to the slasher genre as well as something that is intelligently written as well as romantic then this is a pretty good novel. I liked Ollie and Makani's relationship as well as appreciated it was frankly sexual in a way that felt a lot more real than most books about teenagers their age. There's a few issues I have as I think the slasher scenes could have been more suspenseful in the beginning. These are minor flaws, though.

Available here

Thursday, March 19, 2020

My coronavirus story so far

Hey folks,

    I thought I'd give an insight into what's going on in my life while things are happening across the world. I'm self-isolating here in Ashland, Ky, which isn't that much different from the rest of my life since I work at home. On the other hand, my family wasn't too well-prepared for the corona apocalypse so we were out of canned goods, food in the freezer, and essentials that would potentially come in handy with the mass shut-down ordered by Governor Steve Beshear.

    So, it became something of a odyssey going across town and trying to do shopping in order to find things that people were hoarding. Toilet paper was obviously a thing, so were paper towels, disinfecting wipes, and so on. But even regular food was a thing that we were worried about. In the end, I ended up stocking up as much as I could without figuring I was looking like a lunatic.

    It may have taken three or four stores but it seemed worth it. My wife also ordered about 60 rolls of toilet paper but that would take a month to get here from Amazon. Amusingly, I ended up giving away most of what I acquired to my 70-year-old mother who, of course, can't go shopping for any of that.

    There's a bit of a nagging feeling about the virus that I should also share. I actually caught a "flu-like bug" at the start of the year that didn't respond to any treatment, left me with a horrible cough, kept me bedridden, and was tested as definitely NOT the flu. I ended up with it for more than a month before getting over it.

    In the back of my mind, I kind of wonder if I actually had the corona-virus and just never realized it. The likelihood of it traveling all the way from China to Kentucky before it was in the news is small but its in the back of my head. I find it helps to make me think I'm through this but doesn't leave me any less worried about the after effects.

     It's hard to explain just how empty and desolate Ashland feels with the corona virus. My favorite restaurants are buffets (usually Chinese buffets) and they've been all shut down. Some of them, possibly all of them, won't be reopening because you can't stay closed for months and we don't know how long this state of emergency will last. The biggest concern I have isn't the virus itself but the long term effects it will have on people who can't afford to have even a single paycheck delayed, let alone cancelled.

     Pretending this is like a vacation is something that can only go so far but it's something that I'm trying to do in order to work my way through the problem as best I can. I'm planning on catching up on all of the horror movies I've been meaning to watch over the years: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Black Christmas (1974), Sleepaway Camp (1985), Hellraiser (1987), and Phantasm (1979) so far. I've also re-watched Re-Animator and Friday the 13th Part IV (I had to on Friday the 13th). Ordering the Shudder network has helped a bit and I'm considering also renewing my subscription to DC Universe. "Stream out the Apocalypse" might be a hashtag I should put on Twitter.

    I'm luckier than a lot of people because I'm relatively healthy, just overweight, and that I don't have to worry too hard about financial matters for at least a somewhat reasonable period. Even then, I contacted my stockbroker and he was someone who stated that no one should be investing anything right now. The damage done to people's retirement plans and ability to care for themselves when they can't work from the home like me.

    I'm writing three novels simultaneously right now with Psycho Killers in Love, The Horror of Supervillainy (Supervillainy Saga #7), and A Nightmare on Elk Street. I feel like that I have to address the plague in the books that take place in 2020 but that could severely disrupt the stories. Thankfully, Psycho Killers In Love takes place in 2000 back before the coronapocalypse.

    It's about 12-18 months until there's a vaccine and we don't have enough tests to begin to start isolating where the packets of corona virus outbreaks. Social distancing is really because we have to isolate everyone because we don't know who has it or not. On the plus side, there's been some successful treatments of the virus with Bayer-produced ebola treatments. Really, no one wanted to know ebola treatments are probably the best thing for this but it's good to hear we actually do have treatments--just it's unlikely to be available to people for months as well. Time is the enemy.

    In any case, that's what's currently going on with my life and my handling of the crisis. I don't know when the emergency measures by the governor are going to be lifted. I don't know if the American economy can survive this or individuals in it. But I'm trying to keep a brave face for my family and stay strong for my loved ones. Besides, again, I have a bunch of writing time and time to watch horror movies I've missed out on. Bright side.

Final Girls by Riley Sager review

    FINAL GIRLS by Riley Sager is right up my wheelhouse since I am the kind of guy who read MEN, WOMEN, AND CHAINSAWS by Carol J. Clover for the intellectual stimulating discussion of the slasher movie with not a trace of irony. The premise of the novel is a simple and intriguing one: what if a typical slasher movie plot "really" happened? Well, the survivors would be traumatized as well as media sensations.

    Quincy Carpenter, a nice reference to Quincy Harker and John Carpenter probably, is the survivor of a camp ground massacre in her college years. A twisted maniac went on a rampage and murdered all of her friends, leaving her as the sole one to escape. It's been ten years and she is a baking vlogger with an apartment she pays for with money from a number of lawsuits filed on her behalf. She's an emotional mess kept going by Xanax and grape soda but a fairly realistic model of a trauma survivor.

    Quincy just wants to pretend that her life is fine and she's moved past her horrific ordeal but this is impossible due to the inability to fully confront it. Quincy doesn't remember what happened for an hour of events and the media enjoyed bringing it up repeatedly. Not only was her ordeal similar to a horror movie but she and the other two "Final Girls" who suffered similar experiences are conventionally beautiful women who are perfect for generating cheap ratings.

    Quincy's faux-perfect life takes a downturn when Lisa, the strongest of the Final Girls, seemingly commits suicide. This results in the other Final Girl, Samantha Boyd, coming to visit Quincy in New York. Quickly, events start to spiral out of control as Samantha repeatedly tries to trigger Quincy's long-suppressed rage. Was Lisa's suicide really that and why does Sam want to force Quincy to remember what really happened that night?

    The book is entertaining for about 90% of its page count but doesn't quite manage to successfully land. The best part of the book is following Quincy through her daily routine and how she's adjusted to being a survivor of a horror movie in "real life." I also enjoyed the flashbacks to the Pinewood Cottage massacre even if they're a deliberately cliche (camp ground, Indian burial ground, insane asylum). The final answer to the mystery is actually more cliche than all of the invoked tropes and I wish the author had gone with a more original twist.

    Fans expecting a book that reads like a slasher pic are going to be disappointed as this is mostly a psychological horror piece. Quincy is badly damaged by her experience while simultaneously irritated with how everyone treats her like a fragile piece of china. I like her relationship with Samantha and was interested in seeing them develop a friendship that puts a wedge in her relationship with her boyfriend. I was a bit reminded of the Anna Kendrick/Blake Lively movie, A Simple Favor, that had similar characters to Quincy and Samantha but the roles reversed.

    I think the biggest problem of the ending is the fact that it doesn't really tie into the rest of the book's themes. Much of the book is about how there's no such thing as a "Final Girl" and that it's a media created moniker to cover up a traumatizing event. One of the other characters suffered horrific child abuse and killer her attacker but was labeled a monster because, presumably, it wasn't Hollywood-esque enough a premise. Then the ending introduces a villain straight out of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning and we're meant to treat her Final Girl status seriously.

    Still, I enjoyed reading the book and if you're a fan of 80s horror films then you'll enjoy most of the references even if they strain credulity that there's been three or four incidents that perfectly mirror a typical horror movie, complete with beautiful survivors. Then again, we're living in a time with spree killers so what do I know. I recommend the audiobook version narrated by Erin Bennett and Hillary Huber as they do an amazing job bringing the main characters to life.

Available here

Monday, March 9, 2020

Book Announcement: Psycho Killers in Love

What if all the cheesy horror movies of the 1980s were based on true stories?

William England knows that they are for a fact. His father, Billy the Undying, was one of the most notorious slashers of all time. Wrongfully imprisoned in a mental institution with his ax-crazy sister, Carrie, William has escaped with his sibling out into the real world. Unfortunately, he's literally haunted by his father's ghost and has found himself driving to a small town in Kansas that is the center of murderous activity in the year 2000.

But circumstances result in William meeting the girl of his dreams just as his own murderous impulses finally kick in. Nancy Loomis is beautiful, deadly, and dedicated to destroying all the world's slashers. Can these two bloodthirsty killers make it work or are they doomed to be enemies like their natures compel them to be? What about the secret cult in the area that has been kidnapping sorority sisters? And the vampire in the basement of his new home? Find out in this loving tribute/send-up of the horror genre. It is a comedy to die for.