Dane and I love Comedies--particularly Dark Comedies. He'll watch the schlockiest stuff and giggle. Me, I can't risk my precious StoryBrain Meats. So, every once in a while Dane suggests movies that are far, far better than they have any right to be--or far better than their trailers and budgets indicate. It's how I discovered The Final Girls. and Happy Death Day. That's also how I found myself in a theater watching this delightful little gem. It's called Anna and the Apocalypse, and I'm here to tell you that it's a scrummy little holiday treat--not in the sense that its a holiday movie because it isn't. Well, not in a "Winter Holidays are central to the story". More in the sense that Die Hard is considered a Christmas movie. Also, parents don't take your eight year old to see it, thinking it'll be the next High School Musical. Bad Idea. So, think Shaun of the Dead mashed with a small bit of Rock Horror Picture Show and you might be prepared. Dark British Humor all the way. I love the "I'm cluelessly going about my business as the world falls apart around me" trope. The Brits do it so very, very well. I suspect there's a cultural reason for this. (Remember the UK government response to a possible Nazi invasion partly involved the development of "Keep Calm and Carry On" post-invasion posters.)
I'm extra fussy about musicals, btw. (I often just tell people I don't like them.) This one is brilliant. I definitely want to find the soundtrack. The dance routines are great too. It's well-written. The dialog makes sense and fits the characters. The transitions between dialog and songs make sense. The actors' singing voices are amazing. I seriously want that soundtrack.
And now the Naughty and Nice List. Warning: Contains spoilers behind the cut. Like seriously, I'm not even going to try not to spoil it because the things that make it cool are the things that the does different from Hollywood movies. In fact, the song There's No Such Thing as a Hollywood Ending says it all.
Nice: Anna. Her Father. Her Best Friend. The fact that when her Best Friend (John) hits on her she tells him no, and with that, he backs the fuck off. It was nice. Steph (who happens to be a lesbian.) The fact that Steph doesn't die. Steph actually saves people. The het couple don't make it. Neither of them do. They die together--so none of that "Oh, woe." shit either. Like I said before, this isn't a Hollywood film. Headmaster Savage chews on scenery in exactly the right way. My brain kept trying to go to Rocky Horror Picture Show. He totally reminded me of Dr. Frank-N-Furter combined with Professor Severus Snape all in a very good way. I liked feeling that a Feminist woman (a White Feminist but a Feminist) was definitely consulted by the men who wrote the script. Anna is relatable in that way. I love that people at school tried to slut-shame her and she doesn't give a fuck. Oh! That reminds me, Douche-bag Nick. He starts of stereotypical and then doesn't end that way. That said, even he doesn't get the girl in the end. Anna isn't anyone's property. She isn't a prize to be won upon survival. I LOVE THAT.
Naughty: [sigh] And here we have yet another Genre Film without a single solitary POC in it. Yes. Yes. It's Scotland. However, I've got news for you. POCs do exist in the UK. Seriously. I've been to the UK. Multiple times. I've seen them. Hell, even The Great British Baking Show includes People of Color. Seriously, people. Do better.
That said...I'm probably going to write this one in on the Hugo and Nebula ballot because I'm a little sick of seeing only big name movies on the list.
 Not because I think I'm all that. It's just that whatever media I consume tends to get dumped into the cauldron of my subconscious and stew there. My theory is if I feed my subconscious the good stuff--and this means my own definition of the good stuff--then I'm less likely to have awful influences on my writing. It makes logical sense to me.
 No really. That was a thing that happened. To the kid's credit, she held out until 2/3rds of the way in and didn't make one sound of distress the entire time. Based upon a conversation overheard outside the theater, Clueless Dad™ had no idea it was going to be that kind of movie. I strongly suspect that he only saw the Hollywood Ending clip. Based upon the inappropriate films Dane and I saw as children...Clueless Dad™ may have just inadvertently birthed another SF/F Geek into the world. You know, in addition to dealing with his little girl's nightmares for the next three months.
 I saw War of the Worlds at the ripe old age of five. It terrified me, and made a War of the Worlds fan for life. For Dane, it was Nightmare on Elm Street. Yep. It's like that.
 I only wish someone had sat him down and said, "Congratulations, kid. You've successfully learned that women are people. Friendship is not a gateway to sex. Friendships are how human beings bond. This is not limited to sex partners or even women. In fact, a majority of friends don't sleep together. No really. You can have male friends that help with emotional baggage too! In fact, you SHOULD. One day, you'll have a girlfriend or a boyfriend or a nonbinary -friend and combine that friendship with sex. This is called a relationship. But friendship alone is the first step. You have to learn how to be a friend first."
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.