Actor Trading Cards: Suicide Squad

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suicide-squadSuicide Squad: Flash Review

Before presenting the Actor Trading Cards for DC’s latest movie release, I feel the need to post a short review having seen the film over the weekend. Simply put… I LOVED IT! Suicide Squad is a delightful mash-up of chaos, driven by characters that you can’t help but like and root for even though, as you know, they’re the bad guys. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is exactly the kind of crazy everyone was hoping for, and Will Smith’s Deadshot is the most fun we’ve had watching Smith in years. The rest of the cast also does a fantastic job, and while the script takes the viewer on an unconventional roller coaster that includes quite a few “snap scenes” to fill in the background of its characters, it works because overall the film is a disorderly collaboration of joyful entertainment!

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Countdown To Civil War: Actor Trading Cards – Team Iron Man

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Robert Downey Jr
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. as “IRON MAN”

Born: April 4, 1965 in New York City, NY
Height: 5’9

Personal Quote:

“I know very little about acting. I’m just an incredibly gifted faker.”

Non-Marvel Highlights:

Chaplin (‘Charlie Chaplin’, Nominated Best Actor, Academy Awards), Ally McBeal TV Series (‘Larry Paul’, Won Best Supporting Actor, Golden Globes), Sherlock Holmes (‘Sherlock Holmes’, Won Best Actor, Golden Globes)

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Actor Trading Cards: Gerard Butler

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Gerard Butler
GERARD BUTLER

Born: November 13, 1969 in Paisley, Scotland, UK
Height: 6’2

Personal Quote:

“The chance to be both artistically appreciated and commercially appreciated… That’s what you hope for.”

Did You Know?

Butler has quickly gained a reputation as one of the nicest actors around, as he always takes time to socialize with fans and hangs out with crew members as much as co-stars on film sets.

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Actor Trading Cards: Jeremy Irons

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Jeremy Irons
JEREMY IRONS

Born: September 19, 1948 in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, UK
Height: 6’2

Personal Quote:

“No, I don’t believe in hard work. If something is hard, leave it. Let it come to you. Let it happen.”

Did You Know?

Is one of 9 actors to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, Emmy and Tony).

Owns Kilcoe Castle in County Cork, Ireland.

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Actor Trading Cards: Morena Baccarin

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Morena Baccarin
MORENA BACCARIN

Born: June 2, 1979 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height: 5’8

Personal Quote:

“I would love to be a Bond girl. That is on my bucket list, definitely.”

Did You Know?

Has done voice work for multiple animated series including Justice League (Black Canary); Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Cheetah); Son of Batman and Batman: Bad Blood (Talia al Ghul); and is also the voice of “Gideon” on The Flash television series.

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Actor Trading Cards: Lena Headey

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Lena Headey
LENA HEADEY

Born: October 3, 1973 in Hamilton, Bermuda (raised in Yorkshire, England)
Height: 5’6

Personal Quote:

“I’m a tomboy. I used to get into a lot of fights. Don’t know why – self-expression, I guess.”

Did You Know?

Has a number of tattoos, including a large floral design on her back and a Pema Chodron quote on her ribs.

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Tales of Terror: “The Harem’s Keeper”

The Harem's Keeper

“Good morning, ladies.” Jeremy moved his head back and forth, admiring the view of a naked woman lying next to him on each side of his California King-sized bed. He’d been waking up the same way every morning for over six months now, but he still couldn’t get used to it.

Jenny, on his right, was a perky, petite blonde who was studying nursing at the University of Portland. Jeremy had bumped into her at one of the local pizza places near the University, and they immediately hit it off over beers and watching the Portland Trailblazers basketball game.

On his left was Angelica, a beautiful, dark-haired model who worked at a specialty lingerie boutique in Pioneer Place, the shopping mall located in downtown Portland. Jeremy had asked her out for coffee while shopping for one of his other lady friends, and much to his surprise, she had said ‘yes’.

Jeremy didn’t really understand what about his personality or his physical appearance that the ladies found so endearing, but he certainly wasn’t complaining.

“I am a lucky man!” he exclaimed as he jumped out of bed, turned on his stereo, and headed toward the shower to begin his usual morning routine. The sound of Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual” could be heard resonating throughout the entire mansion that Jeremy lived in.

He sang along for a few seconds and then turned his mind to the day that lay ahead. Jeremy had just put the finishing touches on a year-long project, and eagerly anticipated that today could be the day he would finally be recognized for all his hard work.

His father, rest in peace, had instilled in him a tremendous work ethic, “a trait that all Langston men must personify”, he remembered his father saying on numerous occasions. Jeremy was certain that his ‘masterpiece’, as he liked to refer to it, would have made his ol’ man proud.

After toweling off and throwing some hair gel into his wavy brown hair, Jeremy selected his favorite Levi’s jeans and a nice dress shirt from his walk-in closet. He then made his way downstairs, walking past a half-dozen empty bedrooms on the upper level before he reached the massive, winding staircase that lead to the open entryway below.  The mansion, which Jeremy’s great-grandfather had built in the early 1900’s, featured a Neo-gothic architectural style, though Jeremy had updated the interior a few years ago to give it a more modern, 1980’s look.

As he walked toward the kitchen, located near the back of the main floor, he spotted Ashley waiting for him. She was in the breakfast nook wearing nothing but a pair of knee-high, argyle socks and a smile. Ashley had her fiery red hair tied in pig tails, and her body reflected all the hours she spent teaching Jazzercise at the local fitness club.

“You girls are going to kill me,” he chuckled, as he kissed Ashley on her cheek while giving her behind a quick squeeze. “Maybe later, Darlin, but I’ve got a little business I need to take care of first on this fine, beautiful morning.”

Jeremy strutted into the kitchen, grabbed his usual bagel with cream cheese along with a glass of orange juice, and then headed toward the study.

Up until a year ago, Jeremy had been living alone, spending the majority of his days in a haze brought on by excessive drug and alcohol use. On his occasional coherent days, he spent his time trying to find out more about the circumstances surrounding his father’s death. He was only 17 years old when his father, Dr. Gerald T. Langston, was shot and killed by the local authorities in 1962 for supposedly resisting arrest and pointing a firearm at a police officer.

After more than two decades of on-again, off-again investigation (and several bribes), Jeremy learned that there was never any gun entered into evidence. He even had one retired officer confess to him, off the record, that the lead detective on the case, Detective Arthur Harris, had given the order to “shoot first and ask questions later”. Jeremy uncovered other evidence as well, including his father’s supposed ties to a local crime organization and even some disturbing files indicating ‘unethical and sadistic medical practices’, but it was all circumstantial. As far as Jeremy was concerned his father had been a well-respected physician and business man who was murdered by the very police force that was supposed to protect people like him.

It had been a difficult tragedy to overcome, but on the 25th anniversary of his father’s death, Jeremy finally decided to turn his life around. He had now spent the past year working on something he knew would be remembered for decades to come, and that he anticipated would exceed every Langston achievement before him.

He pushed open the large door to the study and saw his faithful assistant, Mandy, dressed in a ‘naughty secretary’ ensemble, including high heels and an incredible short, black mini-skirt. Mandy had been a waitress when her and Jeremy met, but after only a couple of dates, he quickly determined that she was his ‘muse’ and that he needed her by his side if he was to accomplish anything. Whereas the other girls in the mansion were mostly just for fun, Mandy was truly special.

“Ahh, my dear. You are a vision to behold.” Jeremy gently grabbed Mandy by the waist, kissed her, and guided her over to his desk where he sat her on his lap while he tapped at his keyboard.

“I have a feeling today is the day we’ve been waiting for.” Jeremy pressed a few more keys on his computer to check the multiple security cameras that were installed throughout the ten-acre premises that the Langston Mansion was located on. There were about 30 cameras installed, though he could only check four at a time on his monitor.

“Look Mandy! They’re here!” Jeremy pointed to the screen with delight. “I want everything to be perfect when they come inside. Let’s get the presentation ready, shall we?”

Jeremy grabbed a VHS tape from his desk and placed it into the video recorder on top of the large box television located in the center of the room. There were three lush, brown leather couches that encircled the television, as well as a coffee table in the middle with refreshments. Jeremy had asked Mandy to ensure that only the best ‘top shelf’ liquor and cigars were readily available for his guests.

——————————-

Detectives David Morris and Eugene Harris motioned the officers following behind them to spread out as they neared the Langston mansion. They had already spotted numerous security cameras, ruining any element of surprise, but the detectives hoped that by covering all the exits they could prevent their suspect from escaping.

“You ready for this, Harris?” Detective Morris asked, the red whiskers in his mustache twitching slightly as he nodded his head toward the front door.

Detective Harris reached out for the doorknob and found it was unlocked.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Morris said. He then radio’d the other officers to hold their positions. “This guy clearly wanted us to find him. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have sent you that love letter this morning.”

Harris responded with an unamused smirk as the two detectives slowly entered Langston’s mansion, guns drawn. The ‘love letter’ Morris was referring to was a thick, manila envelope that had been delivered to the precinct that morning, addressed to ‘Detective Eugene Harris’.

In the envelope was an adult-themed calendar with Polaroids of eleven missing females, each one having been scotch-taped over the top of the nude model featured for that particular month. Whoever had sent the calendar had drawn a veil with a black marker over each of the missing women’s faces, assumed to be in reference to the “Harem’s Keeper” title that the press had been using to describe the mysterious kidnapper. The current month of December, however, had only a white piece of paper taped to it with the outline of a woman’s form and a large question mark within the woman’s torso, also drawn in black marker.

In addition to the calendar, an old newspaper clipping from 1962 regarding the shooting of the suspected serial killer Dr. Gerald Langston was included in the envelope. Forensics was able to confirm that Jeremy Langston’s fingerprints were all over both the calendar and newspaper clipping.

Morris and Harris had been working the “Harem’s Keeper” case for the past 11 months and had suspected Langston, but they had never been able to secure a warrant for him. Previous to that morning, the only clues the Harem’s Keeper had left was a sliver of white paper with the name of the missing woman and the words “I’ll love this one too”, mailed in an untraceable envelope on the 12th of every month (the same day of the month that Jeremy’s father, Dr. Langston, had been shot and killed).

“Jeremy Langston,” Morris bellowed, “this is the Portland Police Department. We have a warrant for your arrest. Show yourself immediately with your hands in the air!”

The detectives continued through the entryway and then split up as Morris walked through the parlor leading into one of the main entertaining areas, and Harris took the other way through the dining room. While the two detectives were among the best in the Department, they were complete opposites in both appearance and personality. Detective Harris was a tall, attractive man in his early 40’s, known for his calm demeanor and by-the-book approach. Detective Morris, on the other hand, was older and shorter than Harris, and had a reputation for being cavalier and temperamental.

“Morris!” Detective Harris shouted from the other side of the mansion. “Come here!”

Morris back-tracked to the entryway and then followed the path he had seen Harris take. The smell of rotting flesh hit Morris’ nostrils as he stopped a few feet from the breakfast nook where a young woman’s body was tied upright to one of the chairs. Her skin had turned green from decay, thought it appeared that her murderer had tried to perform some kind of taxidermy or embalming process in an effort to preserve her.

“I believe this is Ashley Johnson,” Harris said, examining the body from a crouched position.

“Damnit!” Morris picked up one of the chairs and proceeded to smash it against the wall. “Langston!” he cried out. “You son of a bitch!”

Harris continued to take notes of Ashley Johnson’s appearance while he waited for Morris to compose himself.

“You finished?” Harris asked after a couple of minutes.

“Sorry, I…I was really hoping this guy might have been keeping these girls alive this whole time. I mean, we hadn’t found any bodies or traces of violence…”

“And there’s a chance we’ll still find some of them alive.” Harris stood upright, unfazed by the scene in front of him. His father, the retired Captain Arthur Harris, had exposed Eugene to a fair amount of case work growing up, and after 15 years of being a detective himself, there wasn’t much left that could rattle him.

“We should continue, together,” Harris told Morris as he motioned toward the kitchen. Morris nodded in agreement.

The two detectives proceeded to conduct a thorough inspection of the kitchen and walk-in freezer, and then headed down the hallway, quickly approaching the study.

“All officers, stay alert,” Morris commanded over the radio. “Murder victim has been found inside the residence. Suspect is assumed to be armed and dangerous.”

As both men neared the closed door to the study, Harris got a chill down his back. On the door was a piece of white poster board with a message scrawled out in black marker: “Come on in Eugene.”

“My ex-wife used to leave my name off our Christmas cards too,” Morris quipped, trying to keep Harris from taking the circumstances any more personally then he already had. Morris was fully aware that it was Harris’s father that had shot and killed Jeremy’s father, but they never spoke about it.

“Jeremy Langston,” Morris shouted. “Come out…”

“Is that Detective Morris?” Jeremy gleefully shouted through the door. “I’m so glad you could make it, although I do fear that the message I left on the door requires that one be able to read. Is Eugene not with you? I’m positive I saw him smiling, er, frowning for the camera just a few minutes ago…”

“Open the door and come out slowly, Jeremy,” Harris said calmly. “We can make this very easy for you.”

“I appreciate the offer,” Jeremy responded, “but I don’t think that would be nearly as much fun as watching you both burst into the room like the cops do on T.V. Besides, you must come in. Mandy has prepared drinks for us all and I have some very special video entertainment that you definitely won’t want to miss. I promise you, I’m not armed.”

“What do you want to do?” Morris asked Harris. “You think he’s armed?”

“Probably,” Harris replied, dryly, “but I also think we need to assume that at least one of the victims could still be alive…and we might need Jeremy Langston alive in order to find them.”

“Agreed.” Morris said as he reached out for the knob on the door.

“We’re coming in Jeremy,” Morris announced. “Any sign of a weapon and we’ll put you down. Do you understand?”

“Completely,” Jeremy responded, joyfully.

Harris and Morris both stormed through the door, their weapons raised. Jeremy was standing next to the television with a glass of scotch in one hand and the VCR remote in the other.

“See, I’m completely unarmed.”

Harris looked over at Jeremy’s desk and saw what he believed was Mandy Jamison’s body seated in a chair, preserved similar to Ashley Johnson’s.

“Do you know Mandy, Eugene?” Jeremy asked, pointing at her.

“Don’t fucking move, Langston!” Morris began walking toward Jeremy, his gun pointed at Jeremy’s head.

“Now, now, detective Morris stop right there.” Jeremy presented his drink and tipped it slightly toward Morris. “There’s enough poison in this scotch to kill an elephant, and I’m likely to drink it if you come any closer. I’ve been planning this moment for a year now and I won’t have you ruining it.”

“What have you been planning, Jeremy?” Harris asked, turning his attention away from Mandy’s corpse.

“I’m so glad you asked, Eugene. See, I can talk to you. You’re intelligent, well spoken, good-looking…when I look at you, I see a reflection of myself.” Jeremy scratched the top of his head with the remote. “You know, I wonder if our fathers would have seen us as similar? I mean, other that the fact that I’m white and your black, of course. Not that there’s anything wrong with being black. I mean, I’m not a racist…”

“Jeremy,” Detective Harris interrupted Jeremy’s rambling, “what is it that you want?”

“Hmmm….that’s a great question,” Jeremy twirled the glass of scotch in his hand. “As I’m sure you know, Eugene, today is December 12th and…the 26th anniversary of my father’s death. Now, I know you had nothing to do with that tragedy; however, I believe the bible says something along the lines of ‘the father lays the sins upon the son’ blah, blah, blah.”

“You want me to just shoot him?” Detective Morris asked Harris as he raised his gun and pointed it at Jeremy’s head. “The lighting isn’t very good in here, and I’m pretty sure that VCR remote in his hand looks a lot like a gun.”

“You know the thing about Mandy over there,” Jeremy continued, ignoring Morris’ threat, “she went to David Douglas High School. I suppose she probably graduated a few years before, but…” Jeremy stared directly into Detective Harris’ dark brown eyes. “Doesn’t your daughter also attend David Douglas, Eugene?”

Harris’ mind raced as his thoughts turned to his 16-year old daughter, Christine. She had stayed over at a friend’s house the night before, and he hadn’t talked to her since the previous morning at breakfast.

“What the hell did you do, Jeremy?” Morris again started to approach Jeremy, but he quickly turned toward the detective and shook his drink in a taunting fashion. “Not so fast, detective. After all, we haven’t watched my film yet.”

Jeremy pointed the remote at the TV and pressed the ‘play’ button.

“Please, Detective Harris,” Jeremy motioned toward the couch, “have a seat. I want you to meet Ms. December.”

Harris walked toward the back of the center couch and watched as an image of his daughter appeared on the screen. She was tied up, naked and crying, in some kind of dark cellar or cave. Although he remained poised on the outside, Harris’ blood began to boil.

“So you see, Detective Morris,” Jeremy paused to look at his glass and then tipped its entire contents into the back of his throat in one gulp. “You can’t kill me because you need me to find Christine Harris.”

“You crazy mother fucker!” Morris shouted as Jeremy swallowed the scotch.

“Oh, I appreciate your concern,” Jeremy laughed, “but the scotch wasn’t really poisoned. I just couldn’t have you shooting me before I laid all my cards on the table, sort to speak.”

Harris calmed his heart and quickly processed the situation. Jeremy Langston, a lunatic who was clearly acting alone, had most likely murdered eleven women and kidnapped (and possibly killed) a twelfth in an elaborate scheme to exact revenge for his father who was also a psychopath. These were not the actions of a man who could be reasoned with, and any attempts Harris and the Portland P.D. took to exact information from Jeremy would surely result in a series of mind games that were unlikely to help them find Harris’ daughter. Therefore, Harris reasoned there was only one way to resolve this.

Eugene Harris raised his firearm toward Jeremy Langston and pulled the trigger.

Image via 123rf.com

Tales of Terror: “Falling”

Tales of Terror: Falling

Miranda slowly opened her eyes, the pounding in her head more pronounced than usual. Judging by the fading sunlight coming through the blinds, she guessed evening would soon be approaching.

“Audrey,” she croaked, dehydrated. “Mommy’s awake.”

Miranda sat up on the couch and reached for the aspirin and the half-empty bottle of vodka on the end table nearby. She swallowed the pills quickly, anxious for her headache to disappear as she looked around the room for her daughter.

“Audrey, come see mommy.”

Not a single sound was coming from any corner of the house. Miranda became slightly concerned as she got up and proceeded to check each room throughout the house.

“Audrey, honey. Where are you?” Miranda’s voice grew louder with each room she ventured into. Audrey was only four years old and was usually playing in the living room when her mother woke up from her ‘naps’. Miranda began checking under beds and in closets when suddenly she heard the front door shut. She quickly made her way to the front of the one-story house to see her husband, Kent, walking toward the kitchen.

“Kent! Thank God you’re home.”

Kent turned around and immediately a look of disappointment overcame him.

“What’s wrong, Miranda?” Kent’s voice was replete with cynicism. “It appears that you didn’t have a good day today.”

Miranda knew he was referring to her current state. She was wearing an old night shirt that hadn’t been washed in a week, and she hadn’t even found time in the day to brush her hair or teeth, let alone take a shower. Miranda had completed rehab a few months earlier, but she routinely fell off the wagon more times than she was able to stay on it.

“Yes, that’s true,” Miranda responded, frustrated, “but that’s not why I’m upset. I can’t find Audrey.”

“How long have you been awake?”

“Long enough to have checked every room and closet in the house!” She responded, defensively.

Miranda could feel Kent’s judgmental tone piercing her already wounded psyche. It made things even worse that she could smell the all too familiar scent of another woman’s perfume on him.

“Did you make sure that all of the doors were still locked?” Kent asked.

He quickly turned away from Miranda and made his way to the back door in the utility room. Miranda checked the sliding glass door in their living room.

“The front door was still locked when I got home,” Kent raised his voice so that Miranda could hear him as they went in opposite directions. “Do you remember what time…”

“Kent!” Miranda shrieked.

Kent ran toward the sound of Miranda’s voice and found her standing on the back patio, the sliding glass door wide open.

“I, I don’t understand,” she stammered. “I always lock all the doors before I take my nap.”

Kent’s eyes grew cold as he stared down Miranda and then looked beyond her at their unfenced backyard. Their house was located a couple miles from the Oregon coastline with only a small, sparse forest in between them and the cliffs that surrounded the beach.

“Perhaps, if you wouldn’t drink before you you took your afternoon nap!”

“I told you,” Miranda responded, her body shaking from the realization that her daughter was in danger. “It was a bad day!”

Kent, frustrated and angry, turned toward his wife of seven years. “It’s always a bad day for you, Miranda!”

Miranda began sobbing.

“I…I just couldn’t get it together today. Audrey refused to eat her lunch, and then she started holding her breath like Landon used to do, and I, I just…”

“Stop it!” Kent snapped. “We need to find Audrey before the sun goes down. You go toward the cliffs and I’ll take the back way to the Murphy’s house, through the forest, to see if she went over there. When you reach the cliffs, stay there, and I’ll circle back around to find you.”

“Oh god, Kent. You don’t think Audrey…”

“I don’t want to think about that right now, Miranda. I just want to find our daughter!”

Kent quickly headed into the forest. Their closest neighbor, the Murphy’s, lived about a mile away. Miranda turned in the opposite direction and began making her way toward the coastline as fast as she could manage. In her haste, she had only thrown on slippers which weren’t helping her footing as she kept stumbling over fallen branches and partially hidden rocks.

Before they had children, Kent and Miranda used to walk the same path every night to watch the sun set. They had even staked one end of a rope to the top of the cliffs so they could get down to the beach, although they had only been ambitious enough to partake in the climb on a few special occasions. Shortly after their first child, Landon, was born Kent removed the rope on Miranda’s request as she was worried that a young boy would find the rope a temptation.

“Audrey!” Miranda yelled out for the thousandth time. The salty air coming off the ocean filled her nostrils as she stopped a few feet away from the cliff and fell to her knees. She began crying, not allowing herself to look over the edge out of fear that she would see Audrey’s broken body lying at the bottom. It had been three years since her first born, Landon, had died of leukemia, and the thought of losing another child squeezed the very breath from her lungs.

“Get up, Miranda.”

Miranda raised her head, startled. She turned around to see Kent standing only a few feet away from her. The look on his face was cold and distant.

“Ke, Kent…” Miranda wiped away her tears as she slowly stood up. “I didn’t expect you to make it here so quickly. I must have been slower than…”

“I didn’t go to the Murphy’s, Miranda.”

A sense of fear crawled through Miranda’s veins. She looked deep into Kent’s dark brown eyes, but the man staring back at her no longer resembled her husband.

“I, I don’t understand, Kent. I didn’t find Audrey. I was about to look over the cliff to see…”

“Audrey is safe,” Kent replied in a calm, but unfriendly voice.

Kent took two steps toward Miranda, now standing only an arms length from her. Miranda’s heart was nearly pounding out of her chest. She desperately wanted to step back from her husband, but she was already close to the edge, and her instincts were screaming to her that she was in danger.

“What’s going on, Kent?”

Kent remained incredibly still, his eyes never leaving Miranda while the sun slowly disappeared behind the horizon.

“I need to protect our daughter, Miranda…and, unfortunately, I can’t trust you anymore.”

Miranda’s fear turned to anger as the word ‘trust’ rolled off Kent’s tongue. She straightened her shoulders and stared back at him with the same coldness he had been showing her. “What the hell are you talking about, Kent? Where’s Audrey?”

“I told you, Audrey is safe.”

Miranda began nodding her head up and down, her wits having fully returned from her post-nap stupor.

“So what was the point of this, Kent? Scare me into thinking something had happened to our daughter so you could make me feel guilty? Build your case that I’m a horrible parent so you could justify leaving me for one of the sluts you’ve been sleeping around with these last couple of years?”

“It’s not like that, Miranda. You’re sick.”

“I’m sick of your bullshit, Kent; that’s what I’m sick of!”

Miranda leaned forward and shoved Kent backward.

“Landon died and instead of mourning him, you pretended like nothing was wrong. Then, you started working long hours and running around on me…why? Because I wasn’t giving you enough attention? You know what, Kent…let’s go back to the house right now, download the divorce paperwork, and I’ll sign the damn papers tonight!”

“You’re not going anywhere, Miranda!” Kent shouted.

He pulled out the bottle of vodka that Miranda had been drinking from earlier and threw it at her feet. Kent then lunged toward Miranda, grabbed her from behind her neck and forced her downward so that her face was only inches away from the shards of broken glass that lay on the ground.

“You can twist the truth all you want with your words,” Kent said as he tightened his grip on Miranda’s neck, “but it’s your fault our lives are broken!”

Kent was in a full-out rage. He yanked Miranda back up by her neck and swung her out toward the ledge. The slightest push from him would send her body crashing to the sand and rocks below.

“Kent, please!” She pleaded. “What about Audrey?”

“Audrey needs a mother who can love her and keep her safe. And you and I both know you can’t do that!”

Miranda’s temper boiled over as she surmised that perhaps Kent had found a new woman who he believed could take her place.

“You coward!” Miranda screamed. She quickly reached back with her left hand and grabbed Kent’s belt, knowing there was no way he could now push her over the cliff without risking his own demise.

“Do it!” she yelled. “I dare you!”

Kent was startled by his wife’s sudden move and took a step back, giving Miranda the opportunity to free herself. She quickly used all of her strength and the weight of her body to thrust herself to the ground, breaking Kent’s grip. She then grabbed a large shard of glass from the broken bottle and with all her might, stabbed Kent in the thigh. He screamed in agony as he fell back, the glass having severed his femoral artery.

“What have you done?” He cried out, frantically using both his hands to try and stop the bleeding. Miranda moved toward him and immediately applied pressure to the piece of glass still stuck in Kent’s thigh.

“Where’s Audrey, you bastard!”

“With my mother,” Kent blubbered.

“Are you sure?” She questioned, applying even more pressure to his thigh. Miranda considered that Kent might have left Audrey with his mistress.

“Yes, I swear! She’s with my mother!”

Miranda was satisfied with Kent’s answer and drew her hand back. She knew it would only be a matter of minutes before he passed out from the blood loss. She considered running to the house to call 9-1-1, but that would entail Kent remaining alive and in Audrey’s life…and Miranda could no longer allow that.

“Goodbye, Kent,” she said calmly as she began pushing his body toward the edge. He tried desperately to grab a hold of Miranda, but a swift kick to his thigh was all she needed to extinguish his efforts.

“Miranda,” Kent whimpered, his spirit crushed as his body was about to go over. She said nothing as she gave him one final shove and watched in the moonlight as his body fell into the shallow waves of the incoming tide below.

——————–

Miranda sat straight up in bed, her heart beating rapidly from her nightmare. She grabbed her cell phone and quickly pressed it for the time…2:30 AM. Miranda looked over at the other side of the bed and saw that Kent wasn’t there. The slightest bit of doubt crept into her mind that perhaps his death hadn’t been imagined. Slightly worried, she got up to look for him.

As she entered the hallway from their bedroom, Miranda turned slightly to the left and pushed Audrey’s door open to see her beautiful daughter sleeping soundly in her bed. It may have just been a dream, but Miranda knew there was a brutal, underlying truth that she had to face. She immediately resolved to put her drinking to an end. She thought about the bottle of vodka that she kept in one of the kitchen cabinets, and decided she needed to pour it down the sink that instant.

Walking toward the kitchen, she could see that one of the lights was on. Kent must have been having difficulty sleeping and come down to make himself some tea, which wasn’t an unusual occurrence. Miranda’s thoughts turned to her husband and how she wanted to fix their marriage. Not only would she stop drinking, but she would also suggest they begin counseling right away.

Miranda wasn’t particularly religious, but right now she was under the belief that her nightmare was an intervention from God or Spirit or something along those lines. She knew she had experienced a ‘wake-up call’, and that it was time for her to get her life back together.

She almost called out for Kent as she neared the entry way to the kitchen, but suddenly Miranda got a horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. Instead of entering the kitchen directly from the hallway, she changed directions and crept slowly toward the dining room where she could observe her husband through the archway. What she saw next shook her far worse than her nightmare.

Kent already had Miranda’s bottle of vodka out on the counter and was pouring a small amount of white powder into it. Miranda’s eyes then dropped to the counter’s surface were she could see a bottle of over-the-counter sleep medication with the lid removed.

Had Miranda’s dream been a premonition? Was the sleeping medication the reason she had been so groggy when she woke up from her nap in her nightmare?

She began to panic as fear and anger took over her senses…and then, just as quickly, a calm came over her. Her dream had already given her the answer as to how to deal with the situation; all Miranda had to do…was play along.

Leo Craven On… Mom and Pop Video Rental Stores

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Video Rental StoresEach week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

There are few things (if any) I remember more fondly from my childhood than the days of going to the locally-owned video rental store and looking over hundreds of movie boxes in order to score the perfect entertainment for the evening. The Golden Age of these marvelous ‘meccas’ of movie eye candy started in the early 80’s and lasted until the mid-90’s when major video chains like Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video took over the landscape. While most people do not look back on the chains with fondness, I for one am glad they came along…because I’d…

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Comic Book Subscriptions

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Comic Books

There are some terrific writers at Biff BamPop  who contribute in-depth articles relating to the world of comic books and graphic novels…I, admittedly, am not one of them. However, I am a father of two teenagers, and sometimes the price tag of video games, brand-name clothing, and technology leaves us parents with only a few gift options for our kids during the Holiday Season. That’s why I’m recommending an economical gift that will only run you about $30 and give your kid (or your spouse) something to look forward to every month of the year = comic book subscriptions. 

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Actor Trading Cards: Harrison Ford

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Harrison Ford
HARRISON FORD

Born: July 13, 1942 in Chicago, IL
Height: 6’1

Personal Quote:

“Han Solo is not a cardboard character to me at all. He’s as real as anything else. I never thought of the character as having only two dimensions until the critics said so. And they’re wrong. The third dimension is me.”

Did You Know?

Indiana Jones was voted the second greatest screen hero of all time by the American Film Institute.

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Actor Trading Cards: Tina Fey

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Tina Fey
TINA FEY

Born: May 18, 1970 in Upper Darby, PA
Height: 5’4

Personal Quote:

“If you want to make an audience laugh, you dress a man up like an old lady and push her down the stairs. If you want to make comedy writers laugh, you push an actual old lady down the stairs.”

Did You Know?

First-ever female head writer of Saturday Night Live.

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Actor Trading Cards: Michael B. Jordan

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Michael B. Jordan
MICHAEL B. JORDAN

Born: February 9, 1987 in Santa Ana, CA
Height: 6’0

Personal Quote:

“I want to do everything. I’m a producer at heart. Eventually, when I can produce the way I want to, my acting’s going to help fuel that. And not just vehicles for myself – I’m a member of this film society, and I want to contribute. If you’re in the industry, you can’t just take from it; you have to deposit something back to keep it going for the next generation.”

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Actor Trading Cards: Gwendoline Christie

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Gwendoline Christie
GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE

Born: October 28, 1978 in Worthing, West Sussex, England, UK
Height: 6’3

Personal Quote:

“Part of the reason why I love acting is that you do hope that somehow your work will connect to people and somehow expand their consciousness.”

Did You Know?

Trained as a semi-professional gymnast as a child, but after a spine injury forced her to abandon that career, she took up acting.

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31 Days of Horror 2015: Actor Trading Cards: Elvira

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Elvira
‘ELVIRA’

Created: 1981 in Los Angeles, CA
Height: 5’7

Personal Quote:

“There’s nothing wrong with G-rated movies, as long as there’s lots of sex and violence.”

“My name’s Elvira but you can call me ‘tonight’.”

Did You Know?

Inducted into the Horror Host Hall of Fame in 2012

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31 Days of Horror 2015: Saw (2004)

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“We think craft is important, and the irony has always been that horror may be disregarded by critics, but often they are the best-made movies you’re going to find in terms of craft. You can’t scare people if they see the seams.” – James Wan

In last week’s post I spotlighted the ‘Torture Porn’ sub-genre and the movie that was credited by movie critic David Edelstein to have started it: Eli Roth’s Hostel (2005). Among today’s Top 10 lists and thousands of movie review sites, however, it is more often that James Wan’s SAW is recognized as the film that kicked off the torture porn fad (I use the term ‘fad’ to reference the use of the term, not the genre which has existed within the Horror industry since the 1970’s). While the numerous Saw sequels may deserve to be lumped in with that notorious label, I recently watched the original film…

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31 Days of Horror 2015: Actor Trading Cards: Elijah Wood

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Elijah Wood
ELIJAH WOOD

Born: January 28, 1981 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Height: 5’6

Personal Quote:

“If I wasn’t an actor, I’d be a secret agent.”

Did You Know?

Beat out 150 actors, including Jake Gyllenhaal, for the coveted role of Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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31 Days of Horror 2015: Actor Trading Cards: Tom Hiddleston

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Tom Hiddleston
TOM HIDDLESTON

Born: February 9, 1981 in Westminster, London, England, UK
Height: 6’2

Personal Quote:

“To have compassion for a character is no different from having compassion for another human being.”

Did You Know?

Was in the same class as both Prince William and Eddie Redmayne at the boarding school Eton College.

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31 Days of Horror 2015: Hostel (2005)

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“Whether they like it or hate it, you want to make a movie people will never forget.” – Eli Roth

‘Torture Porn’ isn’t exactly a term of endearment when used by critics or the media. Looking back, films like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and I Spit on Your Grave (1978) would probably have fallen under this classification (and their remakes did), but the term was first popularized by movie critic David Edelstein in 2005 to describe Eli Roth’s Hostel.

Hostel

I’m not a fan of gore for the sake of gore, but I do enjoy watching horror movies and I found the first Hostel movie to be both creative and unique, albeit disturbing. I’ve only seen the movie once (and that was back in 2006), but it still ranks as one of my top horror movies of the 2000’s. I also liked Hostel II, but I wouldn’t go ranking…

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31 Days of Horror – Actor Trading Cards: Nina Dobrev

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Nina Dobrev
NINA DOBREV

Born: January 9, 1989 in Sofia, Bulgaria
Height: 5’7

Did You Know?

Nina Constantinova Dobreva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and moved to Canada when she was only two years old.

Has competed internationally representing Canada in Aesthetic (Rhythmic) Group Gymnastics.

Nina auditioned for her role in The Perks of Being a Wallflower via Skype (in between takes of Vampire Diaries).

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