Friday, November 21, 2014

Now Available in Paperback.
EAST LOS: Death in the City of Angels
by Anthony Servante


"...a fine little ride through the bowels of the city's darkened side of the faceless, nameless multitude of life's castoffs." Franklin E. Wales, Author of "Eaton Falls".


"Great ride back in time with fantastic imagery." Amazon Reader.

"Well done!" Belladora, Artist and Poet.

"A Pumped Carnival Ride Around East Los." Alma E., Author, Poet, and Filmmaker. 

"Great read." El50Tres, Chicano Activist.


 Front Cover by Jeffrey Kosh
the Paperback Edition.



Description:
Death has come to the City of Angels in the form of a serial killer who is decapitating gang members. Greg Macias, a private detective with a dark secret and a drinking problem, is on the case. He must confront a grotesque gallery of suspects, deviants, miscreants, and corrupted souls in an effort to discover the identity of the mass murderer. But Greg Macias must act quickly, for his horrible secret is catching up to him and the bloodied machete of the death worshiper is ready to strike again.

The Noir novel captures East Los Angeles circa 1970, during the high school walkouts, Viet Nam protests, street gang wars, and the infamous Whittier Boulevard riots. Amid this chaos, a drunkard cleans himself up and with the help of a Latino Sheriff's Deputy follows the clues that lead to the serial killer known as the Azlan Assassin. 

If you would like to own a signed and numbered limited edition for $12.95 (includes first class postage), please contact Anthony Servante at servanteofdarkness@gmail.com. 

Also available on Kindle: Click here to own one.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

********Rebekah Kennedy Interview********
The New Scream Queen of Horror

Conducted by Anthony Servante




Introduction: 
The Servante of Darkness Blog welcomes Rebekah Kennedy to talk about movies and her career in the business of entertainment. I first saw Rebekah in "Season of the Witch" (2011) and have followed her horror movies, old and new, since. But there was more to our guest than scary movies. She has a background in Theatre and Television, and early in her career, she performed in musicals. But let's hear from our guest star herself. Darkness readers, allow me to present Rebekah Kennedy.




Biography: 
Rebekah Kennedy is a Los Angeles based actress with Texas roots. She is blessed with a youthful look, which has landed her roles that play much younger than she actually is.

Rebekah has had a passion for acting since the age of 12, when she pleaded with her mother to enroll her in acting classes. Almost immediately, she auditioned regularly and landed roles in several musicals and plays. Through her theatre experience she developed her talent and by her junior year of high school was accepted into the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas Texas as a dance major. At the age of 17 she performed professionally in Casper: The Musical starring Chita Rivera.

Rebekah went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Musical Theatre from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach Florida. She continued to excel on stage in college, landing roles in several productions. Her talent was so impressive she was selected from a field of thousands of applicants to attend NYU’s prestigious Collaborative Arts Project 21 (AKA CAP21) in New York, whose alumni include Lady Gaga, Anne Hathaway and Kristen Bell among many others. Rebekah continued to perform in theatre productions throughout that experience.

In 2009, Rebekah turned her attention to TV/Film. She performed in many independent films and shorts. Then in 2011 Rebekah’s career launched to a whole new level. She booked roles on “Memphis Beat” starring Jason Lee, ”Ghost Breakers” TV series and “Season of the Witch” starring Nicolas Cage. Even deeper roles followed in “The Underneath” (playing the creature) starring Holt Boggs, “Creature” starring Mehcad Brooks and Serinda Swan, “I am Gabriel” starring Dean Cain and one of the female leads in “House Hunting” starring Marc Singer.

She just wrapped a pilot called "Street Level".







Links:





The Interview:

Anthony: When did you want to become an actress?
Rebekah: My mom took me to see my first play when I was 4, and after that I was hooked. It definitely sparked something inside of me I can’t really explain. Even being that young, I just knew I wanted to be on the stage acting.




Anthony: What did you do to make that happen?
Rebekah: Well, nothing at first haha. Since I was 4, my mom didn’t really take me seriously. But every once in a while, I would bring it up. And finally when I was 12 my mom put me in some local classes in Texas and I auditioned for my first musical. And then I just didn’t stop.


Anthony: Can you tell us about your early days in the business?
Rebekah: In my early days, I was performing in musicals and plays all the way through junior high and high school, until I went off to college where I majored in Musical Theater. I really loved it and I was auditioning and performing anytime I could.




Anthony: Can you tell us about your transition from theatre to movies?
Rebekah: I had a little bit of interest in film and tv growing up, but I never really pursued it. Even after college, I had planned to continue theater and maybe even move to New York. I moved back to Texas after I graduated to get my bearings and figure out exactly what my next move was. All of a sudden, I started to think more and more about film and how I could pursue that. Shortly after, I signed with an agent in Louisiana (Landrum Arts LA) that took a chance on me. I slowly started to audition for small parts in movies and tv shows. In the meantime, I continued to audition and perform in plays. Also during that time, I also signed with an agent (Linda McAlister) in Texas as well. I tried to gain as much experience in the film world as I could. I continued to do theater all the way up until I booked the psychological thriller “House Hunting.” And then I decided I had to put theatre aside for a while. I now live in Los Angeles fighting the good fight haha. I do miss theatre and I hope to do another show when the right one comes along.





Anthony: You seem to mainly do Horror films. Is there a reason for this?
Rebekah: It wasn’t a conscious decision to start off with mostly horror films. Honestly, that’s what I booked at the beginning haha. I’m not complaining though, because the movies were a blast and it was a pleasure working on them. Plus, I got to work with some incredible actors and I learned so much working on those sets.






Anthony: Tell us about "Season of the Witch" (2011). Give us an insider tale or two.
Rebekah: Season of the Witch was incredible to work on. All of the actors, including Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman, were extremely kind. And the crew just made it an easy and comfortable place to be. It was a wild ride though, because I auditioned on a Friday afternoon and the next day I found out I got the role, and they needed me in Shreveport for a fitting. So it was a bit of a whirlwind, and I didn’t really get a chance to take in what had happened. But it was well worth the craziness.






Anthony: Since you play characters younger than yourself, because you look younger to the camera, you are cast as teens, right? I’ve seen this with many actors (actresses) especially in Horror film (Molly Ephraim from Paranormal Activity 2 comes to mind); how has this been a boon and a hindrance to your career?
Rebekah: You are correct; I’m playing mostly teens. I haven’t played over 19 in a few years now haha. It’s often great, because most films and tv shows want over 18 or legal 18 to play younger. Sometimes it’s hard when they want true to age or sometimes there are roles I love, but I just don’t quite look old enough haha. But I know one day I will age, and those roles will more available to me. I don’t mind playing younger, because I started in the film world later in life, and I get to go back and play the roles I wouldn't have gotten a chance to play. And I’ve been fortunate enough to play teens with real depth and issues. And things they are trying to overcome. Those are the kinds of teen roles I’m attracted to.






Anthony: Can you tell us about some of the other Horror films you’ve been in?
Rebekah: Some other horror films I’ve been are, “House Hunting” – it’s a psychological thriller with Marc Singer and Art LaFleur. It’s about two families that go to an open house and then they can’t leave. I play 15-year-old Hanna, who is a mysterious girl. It’s available on Netflix and DVD. I’ve also been in a horror film called “Creature.” It’s a throwback to the old creature features and it’s a lot of fun. I play 14-year-old Caroline, who’s very innocent. That is also available on DVD and Netflix. And I just wrapped a horror film called “Bastard.” It’s about 5 strangers that become suspect and victim when a masked murderer makes its presence known in an isolated mountain town. I play 16-year-old Betty, who with her brother, runs away from home to find a better life. That will hopefully be out next year sometime.




Anthony: What are your favorite classic Horror films and which ones would you like to be cast in if they were remake? (The Exorcist, maybe?).
Rebekah: Some of my favorite horror movies are, The Sixth Sense, The Shinning, The Exorcist, The Silence of the Lambs, and The Conjuring to name a few. I would love to do a remake of the Exorcist haha. That would be a crazy fun part to play. Although, it would be hard to do justice with a remake. The first film was so brilliant.






Anthony: Tell us what’s on the horizon for you.
Rebekah: Well, my episode of the series “Match” will be airing December 11th. It’s called ‘Tonight’ and you can find it on http://match.colaborator.com/season-1/. I play 16-year-old Emily who gets into an adult relationship she’s not quite ready for, and how it affects her. It's a different role for me and I'm both nervous and excited for people to see it. But I am looking forward to people's reactions to the pilot. I had a blast working with the amazing cast and crew. And it was a great challenging role and I'm thrilled I got to bring her to life. I also just wrapped a pilot called “Street Level” written and directed by Sons of Anarchy’s David Labrava. It also has Mark Boone Junior, Charisma Carpenter, Danny Trejo, Robert Patrick, Drea de Matteo…to name a few of the fabulous cast. It was an amazing collaborative effort, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. I can’t wait to share more information on it.






Anthony: Could you give a few words of advice to young actors looking for their break?
Rebekah: If you’re not in an acting class, get in a class! Haha. Ask questions. Use your resources. But above all else, don’t give up. It’s an extremely tough business, but if you love it, keep trekking. Don’t let no stop you. Never back down. Dreams are way too important to be given up on.

********

Thank you, readers, for sharing this time with Rebekah Kennedy. Be sure to watch her movies and TV shows and say hello to her on Facebook. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Servante of Darkness Bookshelf
Horror Story Critiques by Anthony Servante

Abbot's Keep A Ghost Story
by Benedict Ashforth





Author Biography:
Benedict Ashforth lives in Dorset, England, with wife, Lynne, and son, Antony. Benedict was born in Redhill, Surrey, and was schooled at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire. Follow Benedict on Twitter, or email him: https://twitter.com/HorrorFly benedict2012@hotmail.co.uk

Book Summary: 
When Clifford Fox QC receives a desperate letter from his estranged younger brother, Simon, he departs his comfortable Yorkshire home to locate him. The letter outlines the harrowing events that have led Simon to the very edge of sanity. Following a stint at the Brentwell Rehabilitation Unit, failed architect and recovering alcoholic, Simon, is invited by an old school-friend to Abbot’s Keep - a Tudor residence, nestled deep in remote Berkshire countryside. Soon after arriving he is left to explore the neighbouring monastery ruins and discover the house’s dark history. But the more he learns, the more certain he becomes that he is not alone at Abbot’s Keep, and that nothing is as it seems. But can he stop the house’s medieval past repeating itself one final time? And can his brother find him before it’s too late?

Critique:
After reading and reviewing so many zombie and werewolf books, it was a welcome change of pace to read a ghost story, especially one so charming and well-written as "Abbot's Keep". Initially, however, I was a bit lost in time. The format of the story is written in correspondence, that is, letters, an antique art thanks to the Information Age of emails, tweets, and IMs. But that is not what caused my mental misstep. It was the language of the narrative, for in each letter the use of formal English lent itself to an earlier age in England's Victorian Period or turn of the century (fin de siecle). I had to turn back the page more than once to check the date on the letters, which were dated 1980; the idiomatic speech suggested 1880 (or circa, as the case may be). Yet this is not a criticism. It was a pleasure to read such a well-presented narrative, not unlike the works of Charles Dickens or Henry James, whose stories employed a similar narrative voice.

So, when the history of the Keep comes to light, it echoes the nuance of the language. It is a haunting device that Ashforth utilizes with storytelling skill. The reason the novelette device works so well is that the ghosts suggest old things, suspenseful shadows where unknown fears await our curious characters, and to have their fears laid out in letter form adds to the antiquity of the story tone, making for a creepy reading experience. It may be 1980, but we are just as lost in the Keep as the characters and ghosts themselves. 

Succinctly told, the story of Abbot's Keep is a Pandora's Box of chills and frights. I wish I had read the book at night over coffee by the fire. Much of its haunting charm was subdued a bit by my reading it at a Starbucks with talky neighbors and clacking laptop keyboards. So, allow me to recommend you read Benedict Ashforth's Abbot's Keep in the evening, alone, with something warm to drink. It's a quick read so turn off the phone as well. To truly enjoy this tale of the supernatural, it's best to let the setting of the reading match the scary mood of the story. 

********

Dracula's Demeter
by Doug Lamoreux




Author Biography:
The last, quite possibly the least, Renaissance man, Doug Lamoreux (a father of three strong men and a grandfather), a lifelong horror film fan and child of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, recognized his incompatibility with the rest of the world - and gave it all up to act and write. He appeared in Mark Anthony Vadik's The Thirsting (aka Lilith) and Hag. He starred in Peter O'Keefe's Infidel and Boris Wexler's The Arab. All interspersed with forty years in theater (during which he fell off the stage twice). Now he writes swell horror novels. The first-ever Igor Award recipient from The Horror Society, Doug is also a former Rondo Award nominee, and his novel, Dracula's Demeter, was a 2012 Lord Ruthven Award nominee for fiction.


Book Summary:
July, 1897. The Russian schooner, Demeter, sets sail from Varna carrying fifty oblong boxes partially filled with earth. A month later, in the midst of a raging storm, the derelict Demeter runs aground in Whitby, England, her crew missing save for her captain, tied to the wheel with a crucifix in his lifeless hands. The only living thing aboard is a huge dog that escapes into the night. 

In his classic 'Dracula', Bram Stoker, with a few cryptic entries in an unnamed captain's journal, offered scant hints regarding the terrifying voyage that brought the vampire king from his homeland to a blood-rich London. Now, the whole mind-rending tale is told. The story of Trevor Harrington, a British scholar and fugitive. Of Swales, the old Scot cook, who deceives their commander, but knows a good deal "aboon grims and boh-ghosts". Of Ekaterina Gabor, a beautiful Romanian who follows her lover by stowing away. Of Captain Nikilov, fighting for his ship and crew while something evil, more virulent than the black plague, decimates their number. Of Demeter herself, named for the Greek goddess of renewal, lost and tossed on an unforgiving sea. And of Count Dracula, at rest in Demeter's dark hold until the unintended actions of her crew resurrect the vampire and his unquenchable bloodlust.


Critique: 
In 1979, I saw the movie ALIEN, Ridley Scott's classic monster movie, itself based on the movie IT! The Terror Beyond Space (1958). That same year I began work on my Master's Thesis on the Grotesque in Romantic and Victorian Era Horror Stories. I read Dracula for the first time. What stayed with me about Bram Stoker's masterpiece of terror was the journey of the Demeter, the ship that carried Dracula from Varna to England. The book gives only a sparse account of the crew's deaths at the hands of the unwelcome stowaway, Dracula. I thought, this account would make a great story in the vein of ALIEN. I wrote the story in the narrative style of a Science Fiction story, like WHO GOES THERE by Don A. Stuart (aka John W. Campbell, Jr), another inspiration for ALIEN. Well, Doug Lamoreux also had the same idea in mind, but as he told me in an IM, his version of the Demeter would follow the narrative style of Stoker so that the story would be an extension, per se, of the Dracula novel. And guess what? It worked.

"Dracula's Demeter" is the missing chapter to the Dracula legend. Lamoreux extends the story of our most popular vampire by filling out the full account of Dracula's journey, from home, aboard the Demeter, and onto England's shore. He creates a likable and believable crew for the ship that captures the period of Victorian England. He even has a female onboard, and we all know that women were believed to be bad luck on maritime vessels of that period. And boy does bad luck come to this crew.

Lamoreux goes beyond simply filling in the voyage of the Demeter; he creates an adventure of horror that answers many questions Stoker posed but left to the imagination of the readers. This gives the author plenty of elbow-room to pull out all stops to the thrills, tension, and killings so that it echoes the original novel but remains Doug's original vision while staying true to Stoker's narrative style. 

When I discovered the story had been written with this style in mind, I couldn't wait to read it, and I wasn't let down. The only hiccup for me was the female in the story, but how else can you have a love story within the horror tale without a damsel in distress? Whether or not you are a fan of Dracula or a student of the British novel, you will enjoy Dracula's Demeter. But fans and students will love it just a bit more.