Welcome to my Blogger page, thank you for visiting. This is where I will share my reviews of books, movies and other things I enjoy. If you would like to see my ramblings, fanfiction and other general posts, please visit my Livejournal: beren_writes. Visit my pages to learn about me and my books.
Top set of links above are external links, second set are pages local to the blog.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

How To Storyboard Using Excel #TipsTuesdays 30


Welcome to my blog on this rainy Tuesday (I hope it is nice and sunny where you are :)). I've been talking about Word a lot recently, and today I'm moving my focus to Excel. If you have Word then the likelihood is that you have Excel too, or the equivalent with Open Office.

How to Storyboard Using Excel


Now I know a lot of us use Scrivener which had it's own storyboarding tool, but this is for those of use who don't have a program with that facility. yWriter, which is what I use, does have a storyboard, but it just doesn't work on my PC.

Hence I needed an alternative and I started using Excel. The main advantage I find with using Excel is that I can set it up to any timeline system I like, so if you have 25hrs in your day, that's fine, or you have 8 days in a week, it's not a problem.

I have a basic blank timeline spreadsheet here set up for a 24hr day here: blank_timeline.xlsx Click the filename to download it.

Each hour is divided into four, which is the smallest increment I decided I needed. Across the top are the hours and down the side are days, since days are the most variable item.

From there is it a simple matter of adding in my events. yWriter uses scenes as the smallest unit, so that is what I use on my timeline.

To create a scene I do the following:
  • Highlight the cells that represent when and how long the scene is
  • Using the little paint-bucket tool in the Home Tab of the Ribbon, pick a colour for the scene background (you can devise a colour scheme based on character pov if you like, or significance, or any other indicator).
  • Merge and centre the cells using the option in the Alignment box of the Home Tab.
  • Add a border to the cells using the border option right next to the pain-bucket on the Home Tab.
  • Type in "s" and the number of the scene or the formula to make it the next scene (see end for explanation).

Now comes the really useful bit in Excel, which doesn't work so well in Google sheets, because Google sheets hides comments. To say what the scene is, I use a comment box.
  • Right click on the cell and select "Insert Comment"
  • A comment box will appear - you can then type in whatever info you need, move it and resize it to your heart's content.
  • To format it (i.e. change the background colour, font etc) right click on the hashed border of the box that comes up when it is selected, then choose "format comment". If you right click inside the comment box, it will only offer you the font formatting.


The great thing about Excel is the formatting is so versatile and we can use all sorts of colours and fonts and highlights to show which are major events, which minor, what character is doing what. Anything our imaginations can come up with basically.

The comments are fully movable, so you can rearrange them and move them if parts of the timeline become crowded. You can even make certain parts of the timeline bigger to fit them in.

The Scene Formula

Now if you just hand number all the scenes - if you need to add one in it means you have to renumber all the others - this is nightmarish. Hence it is best to use a formula for each scene number except the first one.

If you are just using numbers and no letters you can use a very simple formula. If your first scene is at A3 then the formula for the next scene is:

=A3+1

However, I want the "s" so I have a more complex formula. It looks like this:

=CONCATENATE("s",LOOKUP(99^99,--("0"&MID(AU3,MIN(SEARCH({0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9},AU3&"0123456789")),ROW($1:$10001))))+1)

It's already in the blank spreadsheet and the only parts you have to worry about are the two sections highlighted and in bold. These have to be changed to the cell designation of the previous scene. In the example AU is the col and 3 is the row. To copy, paste and edit you do the following:
  1. Click in the cell  for the previous scene. You will see the formula in the formula bar below the ribbon.
  2. Click inside this formula bar and highlight the whole thing.
  3. Click ctrlc to copy or right click and select copy
  4. Click the tick next to box on the formula bar to show you have finished editing (if you don't when you click in the sheet weird things will happen).
  5. Click into you next scene cell,
  6. Paste the code you just copied into the formula bar under the ribbon.
  7. Edit the two highlighted parts to be the cell number from which you copied the forumla, or in the case of number only, edit just the one part.
  8. Click the tick next to the box on the formula bar to show you have finished and the new scene number should pop up in the cell.
Now, if you need to add in a scene you can very easily. For example, say we have s1 (A8) and s2 (A14) and lots of scenes after s2, but now we need a new scene between s1 and s2 at A11:
  1. add a new scene cell at A11
  2. copy the formula from s2 (A14)
  3. paste it in to the new scene cell (A11) - it becomes the new s2
  4. edit the formula in the old s2 (A14) to point at the new s2 (A11)
  5. we now have s1(A8), s2(A11) and s3(A14) and all the other scenes after s3 will update as well.
If you are not using "s" to designate each scene you need to change the "s" in the formula as well. For example if you use chapters and are using "ch" instead of "s" then you would put "ch" in the formula.
e.g.
=CONCATENATE("ch",LOOKUP(99^99,--("0"&MID(AU3,MIN(SEARCH({0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9},AU3&"0123456789")),ROW($1:$10001))))+1)

It probably looks a bit complex, but with Excel it's mostly a matter of cutting and pasting. If you want to move a scene from one place to another you can simply cut and paste the cell (just remember to update the formulae of the following scene(s) if you are changing the order). It's not as easy as a full fledged storyboarding program, but I find it very useful since I don't currently have one that works.

I would show you a full timeline of mine, but then I would give away the whole plot :)

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. What do you use to storyboard?

Monday, 30 May 2016

Back to the 80s - Ghoulies! #MonsterMondays 37


Hello and welcome to my blog, I'm sorry my post is late today, but it's a bank holiday here in the UK and so we had something of a lie in this morning. I hope you are all well.

Back to the 80s - Ghoulies!


Back in the 80s there was no CGI, but there were still some great monsters. Some of my favourites from the time is Ghoulies. The monsters are all people dressed up or models and they have their own charm.

Jonathan from The Ghouli
For those who have never seen Ghoulies, the plot is a simple one: Jonathan Graves [Peter Liapis] (the names were never subtle in these films :)) inherits a house and he and his girlfriend Rebecca [Lisa Pelikan] move in to start doing it up. Jonathan finds a book on magic and the ritual vestments and room left behind by his father Malcolm (Michael Des Barres), which he starts to use. He finds the creatures left behind in the grounds, the Ghoulies. Unfortunately, as he becomes addicted to magic, he also manages to raise his father from the dead. When he has a dinner party with his friends, bad things start to happen.


In the first film at least, the little monsters are kind of cute really, in that E.T. way - although these have way more teeth. When they are under Jonathan's control they looks nasty, but they aren't, however, under Malcolm's control they are horrible little whatsits. Hence we basically find that the only real monster in the movie is Malcolm himself.
Michael des Barres as Malcolm
As you can see in the picture he's a little bit undead, but by draining power from other people he almost gets over it.

Once again the real monster is not the beasts, but the human who uses them for his own ends. I mean you wouldn't want to sit down to dinner with the little critters, but they aren't all terrible.

There is only one that I would say is bad to the bone though, but that's probably my prejudice showing:

You're never going to convince me that a clown, especially one that bleed from the eyes is not totally evil.

Ghoulies manages to do what many 80s movies were incredibly good at - it mixes horror and comedy perfectly. Parts are truly horrific (points to the clown), but other sections are actually very funny.

If you want a light hearted horror film with little monsters and Michael Des Barres chewing the scenery, as he does so well, then this is the film for you. It's kind of silly, but highly entertaining.

Have you seen Ghoulies? How about any other movies from the 80s that use similar effects like Troll? Do you have a favourite 80s horror classic? Are all clowns evil?

Friday, 27 May 2016

Highlander - the Fandom that Dragged Me Online #FanFridays 19


Greetings and welcome to my blog for another Fan Friday. Today I have chosen a fandom which started  my whole online life and which still holds a special place in my heart.

Highlander - the Fandom that Dragged Me Online

Now Highlander actually started way back in 1986 with the original film and the original Highlander:


I saw this movie on VHS and let's just say it made an impression. I love the movie, I love the music and I really, really hoped there would be a sequel.

The main premise is that there are Immortals among us. People who can only be killed by removing their head from their shoulders. If done by another Immortal, the winner takes the losers Quickening, their life force, and gains in power. All Immortals fight with swords and their only refuge is holy ground, where none of them will fight. They are all waiting for the Gathering, where they will be drawn together and one of them will win the prize. They all know that:
There Can Be Only One


Let's just say, when I got my wish about a sequel I was not impressed. Sorry, but I think all the movies that aren't the original one should disappear and never be seen again :).

However, then in 1992 came Highlander: the Series. I first saw this during one of my summers as a student apprentice in Stevenage and, I have to admit, I was also unimpressed. Trust me when I say, do not judge this series on the first few eps of season 1 - they are not the greatest. It improves enormously once the action moves to Paris and the writers seem to get a clue (half of each season was filmed in Vancouver and half in Paris).

Luckily for me I gave it another try a little later and, this time, I was not disappointed.

Highlander: the Series gave us


Now Duncan is Connor's cousin, although actually they aren't blood because all Immortals are foundlings, but they come from the same Scottish Clan. Duncan is just a little younger than Connor.

Duncan's (or Mac to many of his friends) sword of choice is a katana, just like Connor's and he gets through Kimmies (bad immortals - so called because so many of them had names beginning with K or a hard C sound :)) like there's no tomorrow. At the beginning of the series they keep going on about the Gathering, but, since there are six seasons, it seems to be taking an awfully long time.

In season 1 and 2 he is involved with the lovely Tessa Noel (Alexandra Vandernoot). She is an artist and together they run an antique shop in the city of Seacouver (the setting for all the Canadian made episodes).

They also take in waif and stray Richie Ryan (Stan Kirsch) after he breaks into their shop and sees Duncan and then Connor go at a bad Immortal.

During season 2 Richie turns out to always have been a pre-Immortal, another reason Duncan took him in, and when he is killed becomes Immortal like Duncan. Duncan then becomes his mentor.

Through the series we also meet Joe Dawson (Jim Byrnes), a mortal who is part of an organisation called the Watchers. They make it their business to record the goings on of Immortals, but never interfere. That goes out the window with Joe and Duncan, however.

And then there is Methos (Peter Wingfield) a legend even among Immortals. Supposedly the oldest living of them all he had been around at least 5000 years and even he doesn't remember his origins. The character was originally only supposed to be around for a couple of episodes, but he was so popular they kept bringing him back.

Of course no list of Immortals would ever be complete without Amanda (Elizabeth Gracen). Another fan favourite, Amanda is a thief and opportunist who knows how to survive.

When Highlander finished the producers wanted a spin off and after spending the entirety of season six (also know to many as season sux - some of us hated it so much we wrote our own version - Highlander the Fanfic Season - be warned the site is very old - all hand-coded by me) parading a bunch of female Immortal candidates across the screen. they actually listened to the fans and gave Amanda her own show.

Highlander: The Raven was awesome, but, unfortunately only had one season. In it Amanda gets a new blond hairdo and finds that even she can be convinced to use her skills to help people rather than just herself. Especially when she is falling in love with a cop.


Amanda had two sidekicks for the series:

Nick Wolfe (Paul Johansson), a cop who becomes a PI, after stumbling into the world of Immortals.

Lucy Becker (Patricia Gage) a mortal Amanda has known a long time and who is her closest friend.

Together they get involved with everything from simple theft to international terrorism and put the worlds to rights.

Highlander is the show that dragged me online. I may have been doing a Computer Systems Engineering degree, but I didn't really go online, not until I joined Highlander fandom. Back then most of the fandom consisted of three mailing list:
  • The main list HIGHLA-L
  • The fiction list HLFIC-L
  • The slash fiction list (it was back when male/male stories were too shocking to possibly have on the main fiction list)
We then added to this with the Richie list as well because there were those of us who thought he was the best character and some of the writers and some of the fans really hated him, so we needed our own space.

I have life long friends thanks to Highlander fandom. We did a quick calculation on how long we'd all known each other the other week and all blanched at how long it had been :). I was a Trekkie before I was a Highlander fan, but this is the fandom that launched my online presence and my fanfic writing. 

It's also where my fanfic pseudonym comes from (Beren) - I had a character called Berengaria in a Highlander fic and when I couldn't get my real name on a Harry Potter website, that's the pseud I picked :).

What was your first online fandom? Do you still remember it with joy or shudder at the thought? :) Do you still have friends from that fandom? Have you ever seen Highlander?

Thursday, 26 May 2016

"But you're too old for that." Really?!!! #ThinkyThursdays 13


Good morning/afternoon/evening and welcome to my blog. Thinky Thurdays is the day I just let my brain pick a random topic and run with it. I hope you enjoy my choice for today.


"But you're too old for that."
Really?!!! 


I have been in fandom most of my life and if there is one question that comes up time and again when I mention this to people who consider themselves "normal" it's:

"But aren't you too old for that?"

They don't mean it in a bad way, but it has some very negative connotations.

I firmly believe that if you enjoy something that enriches your life, you are never too old for it.

We live in a very bizarre world where it is okay to stand around a football field until you drop dead watching your favourite team playing, but hit 25 and we're no longer allowed to be fans of popular music or popular films or comics or YA books or so many things.

Collecting stamps is okay, so is antiques, but not action figures or autographs - unless they are antique too.

There seems to be an invisible line that we cross and are supposed to no longer enjoy the things we enjoy.

This is all balderdash.

I do agree that when you have adults in a fandom designed for children, for example, My Little Pony, you have to be careful to protect the children. Sooner of later, when adults are involved, parts of a fandom will become sexualised. I don't have a problem with this, but adult do have to be careful to protect younger fans from content they should not be viewing.

We always did it in Harry Potter fandom - all adult material was so marked and we made sure no one could stumble on it without realising what it was. This is not to say you lock it away so you have to know someone who knows someone who has the secret handshake, like in the old days :) , but care is required so no one is traumatised.

Oh and I kid you not. Once upon a time there were archives and mailing lists where the only way you could get on them was to know someone who would recommend you to the group and you would be invited in. It was almost as if we were doing something illegal!

The is no age limit on enjoyment.

I will cheerfully tell anyone who will listen that I love cartoons, I love Avengers memorabilia, I love Chorlton and the Wheelies, I love Harry Potter, I love Anime, I love Fanfiction and so much more. I don't care how old I am or who the stuff was originally aimed at. I STILL LOVE IT! :D

It applies outside fandom as well - if I was "a responsible adult" I wouldn't be a writer :). I'd be doing something "sensible". But I'm not and I'm doing something as ridiculous as trying to make a living with words. The very idea, eh? :)

What do you love? Have you ever been told you were too old for what you enjoy?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

What is Crap Today May Be Gold Tomorrow #WriterlyWednesdays 29


What is Crap Today May Be Gold Tomorrow


Nearly all of us suffer from 'oh my god, what was I thinking, this is awful' syndrome, I am sure. For those who might not, this is when we read something we have written and decide it is absolute dross and should never see the light of day ever again. It can happen for several reasons:
  1. what we have written is absolute dross (it happens to us all, don't lie :))
  2. we have been looking at our writing far too long and have come to hate it
  3. the part we are reading simply does not fit the story we are writing. 
However, I am here to give one simple piece of advice:
DO NOT DELETE IT!

If this feeling seems to apply to the whole of the current WiP, I can all but guarantee we are suffering from #2. It's writing fatigue, pure and simple. The only way to cure this is to step away from the work. Giving it a few days, working on something unrelated, can often clear this problem right up.

If this feeling applies just to a scene or two, it could be any of the above.

Just occasionally #1 strikes: 

  • we lose our skill with words, or
  • we have a brainwave that was clearly brought on by a delusion, or
  • we wrote it while drunk or under the influence of cold medication.
It can happen, but I still say, don't delete it.

Cut it out by all means, but don't throw it away. Save it somewhere, because it is impossible to tell if there might be a tiny bit of a gem in the scene(s) that might come in handy later. Sometime there is gold in all the ca-ca, even if we can't see it glinting right away.

Once again, if it's #2 the only solution is to leave it for a while and come back later.


Then there is #3:


Occasionally we writers get carried away. An idea pops into our heads and we write it to the nth degree. Our readers do not always need to know everything we have written. However, it is a good idea never to throw away these flights of fancy. Yes, rip them out of the main narrative, but they might come in handy later:
  • if it is background info, keep it in the info file/database so it can be referenced later
  • if it is simply a scene that is pointless in the current story, file it away in case a similar scene is needed in another one. It can always be reworked to fit the new plot or it might just be great inspiration for a new scene further down the line.
It's the same with all those ideas scribbled down in an instant, but never developed. Don't throw them away; we can never know when they might come in handy.

I'll let you into a secret - I never delete a writing file and I start a new version of files if I am making large changes rather than just adding to what I have already written. Every work has a folder and in this folder is the current file and a directory called old files, which holds everything which is not current.

Now this is probably overkill - I am a pack-rat by nature. A lot of these files are never touched again, but is also means I never lose anything. I even have a whole directory called concepts just for those files that contain a few scenes or a plot outline. I'm not suggesting you do the same :) - just that you don't discard things out of hand.

What seems terrible today, might still be terrible tomorrow, or it might turn out to be pure genius. It's really not always possible to tell on the day. At the very least don't delete it unless you are very, very sure, and definitely don't delete something in a fit of pique :).


Do you keep your discards, or do you simply throw them away? Am I insane for my approach? :) Do you ever suffer from writing fatigue?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Useful Things in Microsoft Word - the Writer's Guide #TipsTuesdays 29


So I love Microsoft Word for writing, so much so that I find I cannot use writing software that has it's own editing system. Can't get along with Sciverner to save my life. That's why I use yWriter, because it lets me use Word as my editor of choice. So for Tips Tuesdays 29 I have decided to explain why I love it so much.

Useful Things in Microsoft Word - the Writer's Guide


Spell Checker


Sometimes I am a terrible speller - my brain just seems to lose words. The spell checker is amazing for helping me to find what I'm actually after. In the olden days I would have used a dictionary, but now I have Word :).

I'm also terrible with typos and a lot of them Word sorts without me even having to worry about them. This saves me a lot of time.

It doesn't replace good editing, but it is so helpful on the first drafts.

Find and Replace

I cannot be the first writer who has decided on a name of a person or a place or an object and then decided their choice was lame? We all do it, right? And that's not the only thing I find I need to do either.

Word's search functionality is a magnificent tool and it allows wild card characters. It is far more powerful than many people imagine. I could do a whole post about it, in fact I might in the future, but for now the Office Support site has a great article:

Replace Text Using Wildcards

Styles


Now I wrote a whole post about these two weeks ago for Tips Tuesday 27 and I really couldn't live without them. They save a ridiculous amount of time and make it much easier to format your document.

Save to PDF


Once upon a time you had to install Adobe PDF printer driver to get your document into PDF format. Now, however, there is a very simple "Save as PDF" option. You can reach it in one of two ways:

  1. Click the Office Button (round button in the top left hand corner)
  2. Hover over "Save As"
  3. Select "PDF or XPS" from the fly-out menu
  4. Type in your file name and hit "Save"
or
  1. Click the Office Button (round button in the top left hand corner)
  2. Click "Save As"
  3. Choose "PDF (*.pdf)" from the "Save as type" dropdown.
  4. Choose your file name and hit "Save"

Page Layout

I find that for most writing the default page layout is perfect, but the options are most useful for two things:

Setting up the document when an agent/publisher has very specific requirements

Sometimes when submitting a document for consideration to an agent or a publisher, they have very exacting requirements on how it should be laid out. Theses days it seems to be less and less common, but a few years ago when I started some had very specific wants when it came to documents. Then again some of them only accepted in print, not via email. Thank heavens that has changed.

The page layout options are well set out and make this easy.

Changing how the page looks when self-editing

When editing before sending it to anyone else, a good technique for helping to see our own mistakes is to change how the page looks. This then requires the brain to reassess what it is reading so our eyes are less likely to skip over something. I tend to use the following settings:
  • Orientation to landscape
  • Columns to 2


Comments


On the ribbon across the top of Word there is the Review tab.

On this tab there is the comments section. This makes communicating with my editor so much easier. To add a new comment you simply do the following:

  1. Highlight the text you wish to talk about or place your cursor at the point in the text you wish the comment to be.
  2. Click the "New Comment" menu option on the ribbon.
  3. Type the comment you wish to make into the comment section that will appear in the side margin.

Different peoples comments should appear in different colours.

When you receive a document with comments in it, you do not have to scroll through to find them. You can simply click the "Previous" and "Next" buttons in the comments section of the Review tab on the ribbon. This will hop between the various comments.

Track Changes

This option is also on the Review tab of the ribbon and is a god-send when you are trying to keep track of what has been changed in a document.

To turn on Track Changes:
  1. Go to the Review Tab
  2. Click the Track Changes option so it looks like this
Once "Track Changes" is on all changes in the document will be highlighted like so:

Like with comments it is also possible to click through all the changes without having to scour the document by using the "Previous" and "Next" options in the "Changes" section of the Review tab.
The "Accept" and "Reject" options then allow changes to be made permanent in the document or for a change to be removed and that part of the document returned to it's original state.

Compare


Yet another option on the Review tab - as you can tell I find this tab very useful. Now sometimes I do silly things like forget to turn on "Track Changes" or forget which version of my document is really the one I want.

Compare allows me to take two documents and see what has changed between them.
  1. Click the "Compare" menu option.
  2. Choose the two documents you wish to compare in the dialogue which comes up
  3. Click OK
Then up will come a new document that shows you all the changes that have been made from one document to the other. The number of times this has allowed me to tell why I have created different versions of a document is huge. You can avoid the need for this if you give your documents sensible names :).

Macros

There are some things I find myself doing over and over again in documents. This is where Macros come in really handy.

For example - yWriter outputs RTF files and when I want to reformat them into proper documents for conversion to eBooks there are repetitive tasks that I use a Macros for. One such thing is formatting all the chapter headings.
  1. Search for the word Chapter
  2. Replace the existing "Chapter" with one that is formatted as a Chapter Heading.
Now Macros are advanced and hence they are in the "Developer" tab of the ribbon. This is disabled by default when Word is installed, so if you want to use it you have to turn it on.
  1. Click the Office button in the top left.
  2. Choose "Word Options" from the bottom of the menu that appears.
  3. Check the box next to "Show Developer tab in the Ribbon"
  4. Click OK
Now you can program Macros by hand, but that's far too advanced for this post. The easiest way to create your Macro is to record it.
  1. Click "Record Macro" in the macro section of the Developers Tab
  2. Choose a name for your Macro that you will remember and type it in the box that comes up.
  3. Click OK (you will see the Macro section will now say "Stop Recording" and "Pause Recording")
  4. Perform whichever repetitive action you wish the Macro to do.
  5. Click Stop Recording
Now if you wish to Run your Macro you:
  1. Click the Macros button
  2. Choose the one you want from the list
  3. Click Run.

Ctrl-Z (Undo)

If you ever do something silly in Word or the cat walks all over the keyboard and puts complete rubbish in the text or reformats everything to Chinese, Ctrl-Z is the best thing in the world. I use it all the time.

There is also the Undo arrow in the top menu bar that does the same thing.

AutoRecover


I cannot begin to tell you how many times AutoRecover has saved my sanity.

We all know that computers are sometimes unstable, or occasionally we have power cuts. Word has a very lovely option that auto saves your document for you should Word suddenly crash for whatever reason. Then when you open Word again it offers you the option of opening the recovered document.

If you've been writing for hours and haven't hit "Save" manually and Word suddenly dies - this option is a god send. It is automatically set to 10mins - I have mine set to 5 to be on the safe side,

To change it do the following:
  1. Click the Office button in the top left.
  2. Choose "Word Options" from the bottom of the menu.
  3. Choose "Save" from the left side menu.
  4. Change the number in the "Save AutoRecover information every ... minutes" entry.
It is possible to turn this option off, but the only reason I have ever done it was when I was using a very old, very slow machine that stopped for a minute every time it tried to save :).

And there you have it - my favourite things about Microsoft Word that I use all the time. These are the reasons I cannot live without it. There are more things I use regularly as well, but some of them are too complex to go into in a single post.

I know sometimes Microsoft can be a royal pain in the bottom, but I think Word is one of the best things they have ever come up with. That and Excel - but that's a whole other post :).

Do you use Word? What parts of it can't you live without? If not, what do you prefer to use?

Monday, 23 May 2016

Fangs, But No Thanks - 10 Terrible Vampire Films #MonsterMondays 36


So everyone who has read this blog for long knows I love vampires, right? Well today, rather than highlighting some great monster, I'm going to highlight some really bad one. These are the vampire movies I own or have owned in the past that are definitely worth a miss :). Enjoy!

Fangs, But No Thanks - 10 Terrible Vampire Films

Now I will forgive a vampire films many things: bad special effects, low budget, dodgy sets, bad acting. However all of these are so bad that I can never forgive them and they all have one thing in common - they make the vampire movie boring. For that there is no excuse!

Of course, this is just my opinion, you are most welcome to disagree with me :).

Mama Dracula (1980)

I used to have this on VHS and have never bothered to upgrade to DVD.

Reasons I really dislike this film:
  • the vampire are ugly and I'm not sure it's intentional
  • the plot is pedestrian and boring
  • it's not funny and I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be.
  • Even Louise Fletcher can't save it and she's usually good at pulling a bad film out of the mire.


Vampire Knights (1988)

This is another never upgraded to DVD movie, but then I'm not sure it has ever been released on DVD.

Reasons I have never rewatched this film:
  • the effects are so cheap it looks like their fangs are about to fall out
  • the budget is so low when they move from the living room into the kitchen the lighting completely changes because I think they're using the actual lights in the room
  • there is no plot.

Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (2001)

For my sins I actually have this one on blu-ray.

Reasons never to watch this film:
  • the lead actor clearly hated his wig do much that the first thing Jesus does is get a hair cut
  • there is a musical number that has to be seen to be believed
  • the plot makes no sense and requires fast forward in several places
  • there are absolutely no likeable characters in the whole thing.



Addicted to Muder 3: Blood Lust, Vampire Killer (2000)

I have this on DVD - I have only watched it once.

Reasons to avoid this at all costs:
  • I couldn't figure out what the plot was supposed to be
  • the acting defies belief
  • the budget doesn't help
  • it was just nasty.


Against the Dark (2009)

Another cheapy I picked up from Amazon and I didn't regret it as much as some of the others, but I'm never getting that hour and a half back.

There are simply two reasons to avoid this one:
  • it's not entertaining
  • Steven Seagal is pretentious and made me want to punch him.

The Bood Reich - BloodRayne 3 (2011)

Now I can take vampire Nazis as well as the next obsessive vampire fan, but this film just doesn't deliver. BloodRayne 1 & 2 are okay, 3 is not.

Reasons to give this a miss:
  • the plot just isn't satisfying
  • the acting is terrible
  • it's just not very interesting.

Embrace of the Vampire (1995  2013)

Now both of these should be good films - the plot had great potential, but they aren't. The is only one reason:
  • They are BORING!
Not even Victor Webster can save the remake and just looking at Victor should up the interest by at least half. :)

Fright Night (2011)

Considering that the original 1985 version of this film is one of my all time favourite vampire films, you'd think I'd like this one wouldn't you, but nope. I consider this film a travesty. I really wanted to love it and I didn't - at all!

Reasons I really don't like this film:
  • they wrecked the best scene in the whole movie - Ed's big moment
  • Jerry Dandrige should be sophisticated and suave, Colin Farrell plays a construction worker version of him
  • not even David Tennant could make me like this film
  • the 3D in the cinema made it impossible to watch.

Vampire's Kiss (1988)

There is one very good reason this is a bad vampire movie - that's because it isn't one.

DON'T BE FOOLED

Boring, boring, boring and not really about vampires.

Lost Boys II: The Tribe (2008)

I waited 20 years for the sequel to The Lost Boys and they completely screwed it up.

Reasons to avoid this film:
  • the plot is just a rehash of the first one
  • the rehash isn't as well written
  • the vampires aren't remotely threatening
  • Angus Sutherland is truly terrible as Shane
  • even Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman) can save it.
However, if you are a Lost Boys fan - the third on The Thirst, is actually pretty good :)

Vampire Killer Barbys (1996)

This is possibly the worst vampire film I have ever seen, and as you can tell I have seen some really terrible ones. I did not even make it through this one on fast forward, I just turned it off.

Reasons to never, ever watch this film:
  • it has no plot - it's just a vehicle for bad music
  • the effects are terrible
  • the music is worse.
Some of these are worse than others and I could easily have fitted in a couple more :). Save yourselves the pain!

Did you spot the deliberate mistake? Yep - there are actually 11 vampire films listed and I only noticed when I got to the end so you get one for free :).

Do you have any terrible vampire films you think should be avoided at all costs? :)