Pretty Smart

Book Reviews: She Was The Quiet One + The Refrigerator Monologues + A Nest Of Nightmares part 1

She Was The Quiet One by Michele Campbell
Twins go to boarding school and bad things go down in this non-generation defining opus. Bel is a trashy bully and Rose is a snot. Add in bullies, a wet rag and a perv and you have this wretched tale of morally reprehensible idiots. This was disastrous. Nobody talks or acts like a human being and people are full of inexplicable rage. There is impetuosity, unchecked rage, repudiation of logic and a school fraught with disputes.

There is no social concern, Bel is an idiot who ends up in a situation where she is scared to say no and Rose has abiding resentment. There are abusive secrets and grevious wrong and a dumb woman. This was the worst thing. This was not a horrible delight and this badly written novel steadily declines. Characters are untethered by conventional thought and this has no purpose or meaning.

Best Lines:
“The slut dorm.”

“Lunch was out of control there.”

“A mouth-breathing delinquent.”

“The crushing workload, the college-admissions race, the insane three-hundred-page code of conduct manual-”

“Well-deserved death.”

The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente
This novella is narrated by the dead girlfriends of various heroes (and one villain). They tell their heartbreaking story of bad things happening to them to cause man pain. There is Paige Embrey (who is an expy for Gwen Stacy) who died to give her boyfriend's story gravitas. Julia Ash (an obvious Jean Grey expy) had superpowers and bad friends. Pauline Ketch (a Harley Quinn expy) had a fatal weakness for a bad boy. Bayou (an expy for Mera) is a princess of Atlantis who gives out about her half-Atlantean man. Daisy Green is I think an expy of an uninteresting 'Daredevil' character and Samantha Dare who is horribly murdered is an expy of a 'Green Lantern' character.

This was very good, the women realise too late (or in Pauline Ketch's case not at all) that they are tropes and have resigned compliance to them. They also have deep and burning resentment. Why were their deaths a cruel necessity? Submissiveness was their value and the person who had command over their affections was the reason they died.

Best Lines:
“Everything in the world was different, and it would never go back.”

“Waited for him to remember I existed.”

“Hard to see ominious patterns.”

“They turned on me, eventually.”

“Redemption is for other people.”

“Cannot be forgiven.”

“God knows who he hated enough on those planets to turn off their sun,”

“Hunka Kevlar and meat-headed super-dickery comes along and decides it's his job to clean up the place.”

“Bellowed about justice and freedom in a way that made me seriously question my romantic choices.”

“The Halloween costume that had come to kill me.”

“Misreading psychosis for love.”

“Something about getting strangled by a minotaur and stuffed into a refrigerator that really makes you consider your choices in life.”

“I like an outraged political statement that's thirty years out of date.”

“Profoundly convinced of our genius.”

A Nest Of Nightmares by Lisa Tuttle, part 1
This is a reprint of a 1986 novel that is apparently a much sought after classic – it is hard to see why.

Bug House
A woman goes to visit her aunt, bugs spread fear. This was intellectually stultifying.

This was a dumb tale of a girl and her dolls that has no intelligent purpose.

Community Property
A monstrously selfish couple divide their community property. This was a tale of such animosity, one wonders why and how the duo ever got married. And the confrontational exasperating couple think they are being reasonable? This was inept.

Flying To Byzantium
A hair perm is seen as desirable. A writer is invited to a con as a con. The pathetic writer is trapped by 2 crazy 'fans'. This was implausible and Tuttle obviously hates fans and fandom.

Best Lines:
“Didn't have a boyfriend or an interesting job, had no talents and no future.”

“Had no friends because she'd never tried to cultivate any.”

“An indifferent student.”

“Sit around all day imagining that television stars are in love with you.”

Treading The Maze
A couple witness a pagan ritual. A monumental crisis unfolds as a result in this frankly dull witless tale.

Best Lines:
“All the opportunities missed, now gone forever;”

“Safe from what time would bring.”

The Horse Lord
This was not distinctive or memorable. There is no judgement free aproach in this bleeding obvious quasi racist tale which comes to an inevitable and terrible end.

Best Line:
“Rather grim history.”
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Illya K

Movie Reviews: Satanic Panic + The Wrecking Crew

Satanic Panic (2019)

Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell star in this Fangoria produced mess. A thick as mince pizza delivery girl stumbles across a gang of mumbling 1%er satanists. She has highly damaging stupidity.. This was frivolous. The 1% don't tip which kicks this whole plot off. This disastrous failure utterly fails. The 'heroine' is a unlikeable twit who causes all-consuming hostility.

She breaks into a 1%ers home when they don't tip and faces the risky consequences. The homeowners and all their mates are satanists. The 'heroine' is stupid and a virgin. Romijn plays a relentlessly determined satanist.

The pizza delivery girl ignores an immediate and a very serious risk. Her thickness has an adverse effect on the viewer, her rotten acting does not help. The pizza delivery girl has no serious or grave concerns. This does not leave you deeply uneasy. There no especially sinister turns and this was not relevant or necessary. The satanists are raving lunatics. This was pathetic and full of OTT acting and mannered line delivery.

There is no expectant glee or bemused awe. The 1%ers are fully prepared to sacrifice their own children. The pizza delivery girl broke into the house of people as to whose character she could have no reliable information. This was preposterous. There is boring savage degeneracy and barbaric escalation. The phrase Knight Templar isn't pronouned properly.

There is Hollywood darkness. And who put make up on the sacrifices and put slutty outfits on them? And where did the make up and outfits go later on? There is more bad acting and sense is rigorously excluded. The full horror of the pizza delivery girl's predicament is never clear. There are random shifts from scene to scene. The ending is stupid. This tests your tolerance for frustration. A poor bunny. This is not satisfactorily resolved. This was neither scary nor funny. This was a desperate bid to capture the 80s nostalgia market.

Best Lines:

“Bitch whore wife.”

“Your job is not to think.”

“You go to public school and eat government cheese!”

“You think we have choices.”

“Just attacked by a sheet?”

“Death to the weak! Wealth to the strong!”

“Remorseless intent.”

“Poisonous knowledge.”

“Vile gate.”

The Wrecking Crew (1969)

An overtanned old seedy looking Dean Martin and the doomed Sharon Tate star in this naff spy spoof.

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Trailers, Quotes & Stuff

'Infection' promo

This 'Chicago' crossover looks good.

'The Rhythm Section' tv spot


'Honest Trailers: Joker'

Ha ha.

'Arrow' 8x10 promo


'Batwoman' 1x11 promo


'Supergirl' 5x11 promo

Is Winn evil? I'm confused.

'Lost Girls' trailer

WTF is Gabriel Byrne's accent?

Sparking raspberry drink – nice.

Dark chocolate with pink peppercorns – nice.

Who saw 'The End Of The Affair' or 'The Addiction'?

Watched some of 'Pandemic: How To Prevent An Outbreak' (2020) – no.

Best Lines:

“Greatest advances since sanitation and fire.”

“Bio defence.”

“Cultivate your credibility.”

“Situation turning rather serious.”

“Cause weird issues.”

“Viral threat team.”

'Channel 4 News' Quotes:

“Stepped back from all he has ever known.”

“Teenage climate tormentor.”

'BBC News' Quote:

“Offender profiling.”

'Sky News' Quotes:

“Lay perjury traps.”

“What's still it come.”

“Rubbish bin of the world.”

'The Irish Times' Quotes:

“Feel it is their right to berate him at any given opportunity.”

“Avoid having in-depth conversations with strangers.”

“Can turn unpleasant.”

“Dangerously lost in the public discourse.”

“Grave moment.”

“Pathologically unfriendly.”

“Fart audibly into our sofa.”



“Know everything was over for him.”

“You are responsible for your own responses and thoughts.”

“Have to consider someone other than ourselves.”

“Unsettling discussions.”

“See medication as the barrier between them and the grave.”

“People had no idea what to say to me, for me, or about me, they often avoided me instead,”

“Often just want to be heard.”

“Visibly under pressure to intervene.”

“Roots that pre-date the Indo-European tongues that surround it,”

“Exact origins remain a mystery.”

'The Daily Telegraph' Quotes:

“Leek lobber.”

“Emotionally challenging experiences.”

“Avoid compliance.”

“Begone sir, begone.”

“Go against their moral principles.”

“Dark approach.”

“Signs of petulance.”

“Unexplained dissatisfaction.”

“Increasing lack of purpose.”

“Grew menacing.”


“None of this is exactly inevitable.”

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The Fix 1x03 Reviewed

The Wire

No social communication. There is a challenge to the factual basis for the cause brought against Sevvy. This case will have unknown consequences. Sevvy attacks his side ho. Wolf lies. The stepson freaks out. Maya has a stalker? Sevvy's house has a secret passage? Sevvy smirks. The side ho is questioned. Wolf has an ex? Maya wants the mistress to wear a wire. Wolf blackmails his drug dealer doctor ex. Matthew plots. Wolf is sleazy. He and Sevvy have a fight. Wolf has Maya's mancandy stalked. This was dull and not as good as the previous 2 eps.

Best Lines:

“Raptor in heels.”

“This is the best version of this.”

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Scary Books

The Marked Issue 3 Reviewed

This has nazis, magic, a teen girl, weirdness, vile activities and no narrative restraint. It was okay.

Best Line:

“Stargate was one of my parents' favorite tv series from like...the last century. They gave me the dvds. I hated it.”

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Movie Reviews: Enigma + Deadcon + A Fall From Grace + What A Carve Up! 🦄☣🧊🌨😍😍😍😍😍

Enigma (1983)

Martin Sheen and Sam Neill star in this boring tale of Russians and spies. I'm not sure what this is about. There was a twist.

Best Line:

“What a friendly place this is.”

Deadcon (2019)

The internet is an intractable fact of life, but not in 1984. People type and talk at each other in this pointless 'horror'. Bad things happen at a digital media con. Peoples future intentions don't count in this woeful mess. This does not service. This was unwatchable and cheap looking.

Best Line:

“Kick out a Snapchat star or something.”

A Fall From Grace (2020)

This camp failure is from Tyler Perry. It's like a bad 'In Living Color' skit. A public defender laywer defends a woman accused of killing her husband. The client is creepy and this was a complete failure. The client talks in flashback of her useless husband. Adrian Pasdar, Phylicia Rashad, Mehcad Brooks and Cicely Tyson star.

Best Lines:

“We don't need it mishandled or going to trial.”

“Make it fair.”

“The drug dealers we represent make more money than us! And they have no respect for us!

What A Carve Up! (1962)

Various low rent Brit comedy actors gather at an old dark house for a will reading. The actors shout all their lines. This was daft.

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Illya K

Batman/Superman Issue 5 Reviewed

WTF is 'Year Of The Villain The Infected'? I missed issue 4. Donna Troy and Supergirl and Shazam are now evil because, reasons. The Batman Who Laughs wants to bring the dark multiverse to our world in this unlovely issue.

Where does this tie in to Bane rampaging, Alfred dying and the Ric crap? Why is the evil Gordon wearing a stupid mask? The corpses of the Batman Who Laugh's JLA coworkers are on display as are the Superman, Lois and Jon of that world. There is no moral allegiance. This was not deeply satisfying. Superman gets angry and the cost this fight extracted.

This defies more logic than is usually the case. Batman is a maniacal irredeemable narcisst whom it is impossible to warm to. This was inconsequential.

Best Lines:

“Batman's always been better at the judgmental speeches!”

“Oh, shut up. I'm not one of your Robins!”

“To use people to win.”

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Book Reviews: Nightblood + Batwoman Vol 2 + Batwoman Vol 3 🧛‍♂️🦇🧛‍♂️🦇🧛‍♂️🦇🧛‍♂️🦇🧛‍♂️🦇👄👄💋

Nightblood by T. Chris Martindale

This disappointing and dated 1990 pulp horror has been reprinted. It is a total 'Salem's Lot' ripoff with more uzis. It is full of dated attidues and dated pop culture references and 'Scream' style meta. The first 1/2 of this is fun pulp horror but the second 1/2 is wretched and causes incredulity. This was a letdown.

Best Lines:

“Devoid of civility.”

“Had heard the rumors and did nothing to refute them.”

“An obvious loon.”

“I haven't seen anyone.”

“Then it wouldn't be an ambush, would it, stupid.”

“Why are you carrying a machine gun?”

“Acculturate himself.”

“Put your mom in the van.”

Batwoman Vol. 2


Batwoman was driving a sports car around Tehran? Kate's lost in the Sahara. WTF are colony soldiers? Scarecrow lurks. Kate trips balls. What did Kate's dad do? Everyone seems to know Kate is Batwoman. We get a glimpse of the Robins. This was comically unhinged and amiably silly. There is a reveal and this was good. People are irredeemably pessimistic and good intentions pave the road to hell. Kate isn't exactly remediating injustice.

Best Lines:

“What you became. What you chose to become.”

“Don't you have anything better to do than loom over sleeping women?!”

“I'm not about to take armchair psych advice from someone whose Dad issues aren't even about his own Dad.”

“I am my worst night Scarecrow.”

“You and Scarecrow were just having a drug-induced fistfight on the floor of a subterranean laboratory right?”

“Batman and Robin kicked your ass ages ago.”

Batwoman Vol. 3

Fall Of The House Of Kane

Kate is maligned, there is repentance, terrible divisons and moral certainties. Beth is in peril. There is another reveal. Kate and Beth are identical twins? There is a killer virus and Batman shows up. What about the flashforward to a bad future when Tim Drake is an evil fascist? What cult are they on about? Batman expresses his disagreement. This was okay. Kate is resolute and defiant. One has a tough time beliving in the altruism of Batman's motives. He's in moribund stasis.

Best Lines:

“This is the only chance I'll ever give you.”

“Villain monologue.”

“Lost years of her life to a memory from the past--”

“What an incredibly irresponsible and convenient turn of events.”

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Trailers, Quotes & Stuff

'Dolittle' tv spot


'Evil' 1x13 promo


Salt & vinegar hula hoops – ugh.

Peach sparkling water – weird.

Jalapeno chilli dip – okay.

Mediterranean herbs potato chips – okay.

Bio organic 57& dark chocolate cherries & almonds – yum.

Dark chocolate with crystallized orange peel – nice.

I won't read 'Six Wicked Reasons'.

I'd try cranberry sorbet.

WTF is hay ice cream or chocolate bark?

I want long boots.

'New Amsterdamn' renewed – shame I don't care.

I missed 'Rise Of Kylo Ren issue 2' and 'Red Mother Issue 2'.

'RTE News' Quotes:

“Line out.”

“Alcohol vending machines.”

“Combined will and determination.”

'Killer Inside' Quotes:

“When it comes to him I have none.”

“Brain health first.”

'A Lie To Die For' Quotes:

“Importing rubber gloves.”

“Pawning his wife's jewellery before she's even in the ground.”

“They thought he was a good guy.”

'Addicted To Painkillers?' Quotes:

“Pain ladder.”

“All the best of intentions.”

“Hopelessly misguided.”


“Resistant to change.”

“Grim fact is.”

“Made your day better.”

'Murder Made Me Famous' Quotes:

“All she wants to do is please me.”

“All these creepy things.”

“Pretty kinky sex, anytime he wanted it.”

“Psycho girl.”

“Shameful whore.”

“Choices and actions.”

“Possibly love him not.”

“Marriage material.”

'The Irish Times' Quotes:

“Yearning for connection, overly possessive.”

“Painting an image of how a family was constructed.”

“A huge sense of loss and pain.”

“Pantheon of villainy.”

“An unwillingness to accept opportunities when offered.”

“Consistent trauma.”

“To get acceptance from people.”

“Something that was once accepted as normal becomes an affront to respectable folk.”

“Induced demand.”

“What sort may come afterwards.”

“Message is one of unswerving loyalty.”

“Signs of concern.”

“Fighting and acting with wilful disregard for self-reservation.”

“Increasingly concerning.”

“Socially withdraw.”

“He hasn't come to kill you, Ross. He's come to dig up the time capsule we buried in the garden just before the millennium.”

“Singers who were already out of fate 50 years ago.”

“Some kinds of culture are deliberately divisive, anarchic,”

“Not held in such high regard by everyone.”

“Depredations he inflicted on vulnerable young men.”

“Wanted to throw things at him as I watched?”

“Groomed needy young men.”

“Moral arc of history.”

“Benighted hordes.”

“Limits to human sagacity.”

“Rendered entire professions redundant.”

“How would people know I was better than this?”

“Catastrophic rants fuelled on cannabis and whiskey.”

“Social and intellectual capture.”

“Such appalling behaviour will be long remembered.”

“Wrong kind of reform.”

'Sky News' Quotes:

“Matter of regret.”

'The Lego Batman Movie' Quotes:

“Street meat.”

“I hate everything you just said.”

“What would Batman do?...Not listen to anyone else, be mean to people, destroy as much property as possible, talk in a really low gravelly voice and go it alone.”

“An unsupervised adult man karate chopping poor people in a Halloween costume.”

'The Sunday Times' Quotes:

“Whores of Yore.”

“Keeping a live fish in her underwear.”

“Testicle thefts.”

“Gland larcency.”

“Throughly filthy fellow.”

“Times were once good.”


“Ideological foes.”

“Represented some of the worst people in American history,”

“Ominious omen.”

“Morally weaken.”

“World has changed dramatically in the interim.”

“Not difficult to discern the meance.”

“Constantly menaced.”

“It is the defining act – and fact – of her life.”

“Hopefully, he would think the worst of me.”

“Luckily, he did think the worst of me.”

“Really did set the cultural agenda.”

“Why is it you never tire of hurting us?”

“The inability just to be grateful.”

“Endless forever unfulfilled desire for unconditional support.”

“Self-assumed goodness.”

“Acceptable discourse.”


“A mop come to life.”

“Deem me worthy of attention.”

“Your existence is intentionally replaceable.”

“The most horrid thing I ever saw,”

“Universally honoured.”

“Secure an audience's sympathies without seeming to seek them--”

“Someone locked inside her own armour,”

“Cannot bear to look at him as he abases them both so thoroughly.”

“Barely tolerated guest.”

“Purported purpose.”

“Media myth.”

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