I was recommended Mary: An Awakening of Terror by Nat Cassidy because I loved Bunny . I can say it does not disappoint! Deeper review bel...

 I was recommended Mary: An Awakening of Terror by Nat Cassidy because I loved Bunny. I can say it does not disappoint! Deeper review below without spoilers...

Good books tend to cover themes relevant to society, and Mary is a true horror in every sense. It covers menopause..dun. dun. dun. No really, it's about a woman named Mary who is quiet, keeps to herself, has forgotten much of her childhood, and is experiencing the symptoms of menopause...mixed with other strange signs. So if you have ever been to a doctor, and they brush off your concerns as just part of menopause, you know the rage Mary feels. She's ignored and dismissed, but is she really? Maybe I just really connect with this book because I can relate. 

BUT that's not all! There is a trigger warning at the beginning of the book written by Cassidy to let us know what we are in for. There's a little something for everyone... animal mutilation, implied sexual abuse, verbal abuse, mental illness, misogyny, bullying, reincarnation, ghosts, a cult, and lots and lots of blood. I should mention that this book was written by a man. I know! Furthermore, I was shocked! He wrote an Afterword explaining why he wrote it, and I'm glad he created Mary. I finally feel acknowledged as an older woman. (Yes, I'm old, believe it or not.) It's his debut novel and was voted one of the best horror books of 2022. There's a movie in development too.

Mary's internal dialog is intense, realistic, funny, and a bit American Psycho. There's some Wicker Man vibes too. I loved it, and it's easily one of my favorite books now. Each chapter ends with an "Oh shit!" moment, and will have you going through a roller coaster of emotions, or ....maybe that's just my menopause talking. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

I'm one of the few people that still gets the DVDs from my Netflix subscription. (We have a VHS player too.) "Why?" You ask? ...

I'm one of the few people that still gets the DVDs from my Netflix subscription. (We have a VHS player too.) "Why?" You ask? Because they offer different movies than the ones that are streaming, like the Fulci gem The Black Cat from 1981, not to be confused with the more well known The Black Cat from 1934 with Karloff and Lugosi, or The Black Cat from 1966, or all the movies named The Black Cat from 1941, 1968, 1989, 1991. Many are loosely based on the Poe story we know and love. While the 1981 version is not a "good" movie, I will say it's an amazing CAT-centric movie!

*spoilers ahead*

We get the point of view camera angle from the level of a cat, and he seems to be everywhere that people are ending up dead. The cat belong to Mr. Miles, an eccentric man that records spirits of the recently deceased. He has a wonderful old mansion house too! Lots of woodwork, giant staircases, candelabras...you get the idea. In the beginning, we are led to believe that cat is being forced to kill people as an act of revenge, but with the help of an American photographer, we learn that there's more to it. Both the cat and Miles are “bound by hatred” and by the end of the film the cat is the more powerful one, controlling Miles to kill!

I'll admit, not much happens in the movie, but it's a remarkable watch because they use a real black cat throughout. At only one point when the cat attacks can you tell it's a fake cat. It's rather impressive. I'm sure there was more than one cat actor used in the movie, and I loved all the close-ups of the cats and the purring sounds. There's also no dialog for about the first 15 minutes, which is fine as long as I'm watching a cat.

There wasn't just close-ups of the cats, but the eyes of the actors too....a little too much close-up. The lighting was interesting and at one point there were floating glowing eyes. The eyes have it! The town they are in looks quaint, sometimes overly foggy. The acting is ok, and there's your typical boobs, and several awkward make out sessions from the 1980s horror movie genre. (That's saying a lot since the movie's run time is only 1hr 32min.) The soundtrack has a folk horror sound that sets the tone.

Some special effects are well executed (see what I did there?), a highlight is the scene where a woman catches fire and her face melts. Some effects are not so great, like the scene with the fake bats, or bright white skeletons covered in cobwebs.

*trigger warnings*

Miles does try to kill the cat a couple of times, when he feels the cat is getting stronger than him. He tries to kill it by hanging it. While they never show it, they do show it in shadow, and the cat ends up living. (Yay, evil kitty!)  Another time he tries to poison and bury it alive, it's mentioned but not shown.

The first awkward make out session shows a young couple, and it gets a little rape-y, when she says no, and he tries to convince her to have sex. Not cool.

As a whole I give it a 1.5 out of 5 drinks at the pub (yes, yes, I know Fulci has a cult following, but I'm not in that cult), but I give it a 6 out of 5 for use of real cats!

Here's the trailer...

Cult Classic   was recommended to me, and after reading the plot I was excited to dig in, because cults am I right?! But I'm afraid it ...

Cult Classic was recommended to me, and after reading the plot I was excited to dig in, because cults am I right?! But I'm afraid it was just ok. Or maybe I'm too old to read it? It's Sloane Crosley's first novel and the quality of writing is wonderful, with dry wit and real poignant observations about relationships, BUT Lola, the main character, is annoying and unlikable. She has a string of ex-boyfriends that she keeps running into on the streets of New York City. Oddly, she finds out it's not fate, but that she's the key experiment in her friend's new cult. It makes sense since she seems to think the world revolves around her. Well, it's sort of a cult? But more like a new age organization that thinks they can "will" encounters to happen? It's sort of unclear.

Since Lola is now engaged, she is told by the cult she's seeking closure with her exes. It makes her question her relationship with her fiancé. Is he just convenient? Her inner dialog goes on for sometimes three pages, and as a reader I found myself drifting off into my own thoughts. I was unable to sympathize with her. She doesn't really like her friends, and everyone seems emotionally distant and superficial. Honestly, there's no one in the book I would root for. (Pro tip: Life is too short to be friends with people you don't like.)

In the end, we find out that all of her lovers reappearing is a ploy by her fiancé ~ with the help of the cult ~ to see if she really loves him. He tested her instead of asking her about her exes. I once had a teacher say the key to a good relationship is communication. What do the youngins say? This could have been an email? Well, this could have been a simple conversation between two adults instead of a book about boring ex-boyfriends. Lol.

  Knock at the Cabin wasn't terrible, it just wasn't good.  *Spoiler Alert* Directed by M. Night Shamalamadingdong a.k.a. M. Night ...

 Knock at the Cabin wasn't terrible, it just wasn't good. 

*Spoiler Alert*

Directed by M. Night Shamalamadingdong a.k.a. M. Night Shyamalan, Knock At the Cabin had potential with an interesting story based on Paul Tremblay's book The Cabin at the End of the World. (We know how I feel about his writing.) 

A gay couple and their young daughter are vacationing at a remote cabin in the woods, and four armed strangers knock at the cabin and tell them they have to make a decision to avoid an apocalypse. They have to sacrifice one of themselves to save the world. Note: They can't commit suicide, it has to be an agreed on choice. The four strangers know this because even though they lead very different lifestyles, they all had the same vision of the world ending.

Of course, initially, the dads don't make a choice which results in the first signs of the end of the world...AND of the four strangers, one of them has to die by the hand of the other three... and so on until the last stranger kills himself because the family won't decide, and a rain of fire touches the earth. Not until that happens, do the dads come to a decision. The dad with the temper kills the other dad. Since the other dad sees the future with his daughter living happily, he knows she will be fine and chooses death. Plot twist, THERE IS NO PLOT TWIST. Honestly it would have been better with a twist.

They describe the four strangers as the four horsemen, and they are the aspects of humanity: malice, healing, nurturing, and guidance. I knew them as war, famine, pestilence, and death, so this threw me.

A big first chunk of the movie is a slow burn to explain the premise, only it wasn't really explained. Why did the horsemen come with homemade weapons? Why did the horsemen have to kill one of themselves? Why were they chosen? Why wasn't the president notified of the upcoming tragedies? Why didn't the horsemen get therapy, and why didn't the therapists contact the police? Does this happen all over the world, because the plagues etc. happened all over the world? How often is a family picked to decide the world's demise? So many questions, not enough answers. Oh, and one of the plagues looks like Covid 19. It builds to nothing and remains anticlimactic.

I was waiting for something to happen. There is only hinted at gore and some camera angles are odd. Rupert Grint and Dave Bautista are excellent in it, but not enough to save humanity...er I mean the movie. I give it 2 grasshoppers out of 5.

Trailer below...

Witch history throughout countries and cities, how can this book be bad? Well I'm not going to lie, I had a hard time reading it and alm...

Witch history throughout countries and cities, how can this book be bad? Well I'm not going to lie, I had a hard time reading it and almost didn't finish it, and it's not because of the subject matter...

I was excited to dig into Witch Hunt A Traveler's Guide to the Power & Persecution of the Witch by Kristen J Sollee, after all it was recommended by Pam Grossman, who I love. I've reviewed Sollee's books before, and again the same problem cropped up in this one...SHE NEEDS PICTURES, or at the very least a map! 

Each chapter of the book is named after the cities she visited, all of them with a history of witch persecutions, most of them European. It comes off as more of her personal travel diary, filled in with quotes from scholarly books on witch history or feminism. She constantly reminds the reader of the juxtaposition of contemporary life she's surrounded by vs. what a sacred place she's in. Let's not forget how many times she tells the reader she's already been to Europe. We get it, you're a second generation witch and educator, you have experience with witches, no need to remind us in almost every chapter. I found it pretentious. To the uninitiated, her witch history would get lost, not enough explanations of the persecution of witches, who they were, the power they held, and the consequences. Did I mention it's also filled in with overly descriptive romantic narration and descriptions of "visions" she has of the past? I rolled my eyes. It's hard to read when you're rolling your eyes. 

It would have been better with a map to highlight the locations she traveled to. She writes about snapping photos, it would have been nice to see them, or even pictures of what she's talking about. There is a reference at the back of the book of places to note, museums, shops, and memorials etc. and a bibliography of all the books she references. It stills feels like it's lacking. I'd say stick to her other books and pass on this one unless you are planning a trip to Europe and want to find witchy locations, then use the Travel Resource section at the back.

Based on the 2012 book A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman , A Man Called Otto is a sweet drama that needs a trigger warning for suicide!...

Based on the 2012 book A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman, A Man Called Otto is a sweet drama that needs a trigger warning for suicide! Based on what I heard, I was really hoping there was more cat in it, but it was still a decent watch.

I saw it at my favorite movie theater in town, The North Park Theatre, a historical landmark in Buffalo, NY. And if you didn't know, this movie is supposed to take place in Pennsylvania, but it was filmed in Niagara Falls, NY! A hop skip and a jump from where I live. (If you've ever been to Buffalo, we'll tell you everything is 20 minutes away by car, and it's true!)


Tom Hanks is Otto, an octogenarian curmudgeon, the total opposite of his portrayal of Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019). Otto has recently lost his wheelchair bound wife to cancer and feels he has no reason to live anymore. He decides to take his life, but his plan gets upended by new neighbors moving in across the street... and a stray cat. While the new family is a charming distraction, the cat isn't really part of the movie. He's in the background and there's a tiny bit of story surrounding him ~ Otto protects him from the bitchy neighbor with a dog ~ but you don't even find out if he's given the cat a name! I was hoping the story would be more of the cat giving him something to live for, and, while that's true, the family, and friends were more of the impetuous for him to keep going. Miserable Otto continues to try to kill himself throughout the movie in various ways, but always ends up failing because of the humanity from the people around him or his own kindness. When he makes these attempts, you see his life in flashbacks and begin to understand his reasoning. In his last attempt, he has a vision from his wife, and she tells him to keep living, so he does. Without being prompted he steps up and helps one of her old students, his long time neighbor, and of course the family across the street in truly thoughtful ways. He has a purpose beyond his wife now, and he continues to live and find his place without her in it. When the time comes, he dies peacefully from a chronic heart condition.

I enjoyed this movie. While I'm used to watching period dramas, bloody horror, and musicals, it was a nice change. The acting is superb, especially the contrast of Otto's character and everyone surrounding him. The story, although sad, has some funny and feel good parts that they show in the trailer, I just really wanted more cat. There's a part where he attacks a clown, that is valid, and very comical. I give this movie four tuna cans out of five.

p.s. If you or anyone you know is in distress and has thoughts of suicide, you can call 988. It will route you to the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. It's 24/7 and confidential.

Here's the trailer...

Thank you for continuing to follow me, so far it's been 6 years 💗 I don't write as much as when I started, but that doesn't mea...

Thank you for continuing to follow me, so far it's been 6 years 💗 I don't write as much as when I started, but that doesn't mean I'm not still passionate about cats and horror! Enter to win my 6 year prize pack, description and rules below...

Prizes include:

1. Vincent Price Art Print by Little Shop of Gore, framed.

2. Acrylic Bat Necklace by Murderous Jewels.

3. The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay, hardcover.

4. Bat Bag by GoreJess Laboratory.

5. Silver Cat Earrings.

6. Bookmark to go with all your books from Little Black Bats.

7. An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman.

8. 25th Anniversary Edition of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.

9. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

~ Like the Fluffy the Vampire Slayer Facebook Page.

~ Comment on the Giveaway post pinned to the top, why you follow Fluffy the Vampire Slayer.

~ Share the Fluffy the Vampire Slayer Facebook page.

Good luck, and I'll be picking a winner at random on 

Wednesday, February 15 and they'll be contacted via Facebook. *Sorry only US residents.

If you've followed my blog, you know I'm a fan of Grady Hendrix's writing. I reviewed The Southern Book Club Guide to Slaying V...

If you've followed my blog, you know I'm a fan of Grady Hendrix's writing. I reviewed The Southern Book Club Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel and My Best Friends Exorcism (now a movie, that I heard was terrible, but I'll probably watch it anyway), now it's time to review The Final Girl Support Group: A Novel. Of the three novels, I liked this one the best!


The book tells the story of six "final girls", or women who live to tell the tale of confronting their slasher, that meet once a month in a support group. They've been together longer than ten years and each one has a different traumatizing experience. If you know horror movies, you'll relate their killers to 1970s and 1980s classic horror movies that we all know and love. The support group meets with a therapist, and in turn the therapist has used their sessions to author best-selling books. They each have processed their past differently, from one lady that has moved on and feels they are living in the past, to one that feels like the group is her only connection to people and the outside world. In any case, the final girls have a bond that no one else does, and without them realizing it, they have become a family.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I'm impressed at how Hendrix writes female characters. Their personalities greatly vary, but their interactions are wholly realistic and relatable.

The book is told from the voice of one of the final girls, Lynette. We see her living as a victim, paranoid and scared. One day, a member of the support group doesn't show up because she's been murdered. Now Lynette needs to find out who the killer is, and so does the reader! In gathering information, you peel away Lynette's story, and watch it slowly unravel. The heroines are flawed survivors, which makes the reader sympathetic to their experiences and eager to find out more. 

I won't tell you who did it, but it's a surprise, and just when you think you know, you don't! It's a thriller and as a reader you will feel like you have inside knowledge of a horror and gore slasher movie. Again, this book is also a reflection of society's obsession with serial killers and slasher movies and how much some people idolize them. That's a whole different kind of horror.

While I've never thought of myself as a “final girl”, there are days when I feel like it's me alone against the world, and I'm ready to do battle! The ladies in this book have a fighting spirit that makes them go on fighting when others would give up. They inspire me not to give up. They have battled, and won more than once. This book wraps up nicely, and I wanted to read it before next week, when Hendrix's next book How to Sell a Haunted House is released.

I went to a large book sale and came across a couple " The Cat Who... " mystery novels by Lillian Jackson Braun , and I just had t...

I went to a large book sale and came across a couple "The Cat Who..." mystery novels by Lillian Jackson Braun, and I just had to have them! (This may sound familiar because I mentioned them years ago in a blog Cat About Town: A Cat Cafe Mystery.) Right at that moment, a childhood memory had been unlocked! The books are mysteries about small town life, with characters you come to know and love. Yes, there are two reoccurring Siamese cats in them too ~ Koko and Yum Yum. There are 29 books in the series, but don't fret, they don't need to be read in order. Even though there's people dying and things blowing up, the books end on a happy, upbeat note. Honestly, they are always a feel-good read!

Andrew saw how much I was enjoying reading the few I picked up, so he went on a hunt for them. He gave me a bunch for Christmas to add to my ever-growing stash. "The Cat Who..." series have become my go-tos when I want "comfortable" books. They are like wearing a warm blanket with two cats purring on you. I highly recommend them.