WHO?!?!?!

Welcome to Reverend Wayne Austin Goodchild's official blog. Not that there's an unofficial one...

Click WAYNE GOODCHILD IS HAUNTED to go to his Facebook page! There's good stuff on it! Honest!

...all work on here is copyright wayne goodchild, unless otherwise stated, you cheeky monkeys...

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

WH NDS VWLS?

Hello. I now, officially, offer an editing service.

Everything from simple spell/grammar-checking right through to full formatting. 

I've already got a nice little reputation for being thorough and dedicated, so why not let me funnel those qualities into your project? 

I'm also a firm believer in keeping an author updated all the way through a project, rather than just at the start and end. 

My main experience is with anthologies/short stories, but I've recently finished editing a novel (Eternal Fall by R.D. Taylor) and I'm starting work on another novel soon (Dying Moon, by Shawn Oetzel - both being published by Belfire Press), so I think that pretty much covers all the bases :D 

My rates are very reasonable. Of course. 

More info HERE.

Contact me for a quote and/or for a free sample of my handiwork HERE or HERE.

I should probably have some nifty tagline, but I can't think of anything that doesn't involve making a joke like 'My rates are so reasonable they've been known to resolve hostage situations' or 'There are worse editors out there' or 'I'm not crap'.

As you were.

This came up in a Google image search for 'editor'. Okay then.

Friday, 17 May 2013

I'VE GOT A GHOST IN ME

Pay attention, chumps! Time to show your support for Wayne Goodchild! I've given my website a lick of 1990's paint and hidden a load of content on it. Find the hidden stuff, win some books! I CAN'T WAIT ANY LONGER! SEND ME THERE NOW!

I've also, finally, got round to setting up my own Facebook page, primarily for my writing but also for other creative stuff I do, like MUSIC and ART. Head OVER THERE and give it a 'like' for your chance to win some books and other random things! Don't worry if you've already seen it and neglected to like it; there's a lot of that going around :'(



Wednesday, 1 May 2013

ALL YOUR SOUL ARE BELONG TO US

Hello, EVIL DEAD review! Here comes OPINION!--> I wasn't massively enamored with it, but I didn't hate or even dislike it. I wasn't even disappointed in it, not really. I was exasperated by it. Is that worse? I honestly can't decide. [PROBABLY CONTAINS SPOILERS!]

May contain nuts.
Much like the CONAN reboot came off feeling hackneyed and uninspired for slavishly adhering to conventions of the fantasy genre, so it is with EVIL DEAD. Unfairly, I might add, since in both cases the source material is largely responsible for putting many of those conventions in place. I have no doubt that if you were 15 and just getting into horror, this film would blow your mind. But, for a person in their mid-thirties who grew up on horror, it simply doesn't have enough of its own ideas to truly work. It even features a bathroom mirror scene, for crying out loud. Like this:




This is a tricky road to walk; don't put enough new ideas in and everyone says "What's the point?", put too many in and everyone goes "It's bugger all like the original, why give it the same name?". Damned if you do and damned if you don't. I think now's the perfect time for a sweeping generalisation: The cynical nature of remakes is to make money from an established success and/or to introduce a (possible new franchise of a?) respected piece of work to a new (read: younger) generation. Horror appears the most susceptible to remakes, likely because the films that are remade already birthed successful franchises. Why can't lightning strike twice? Well, it can't if a film's evidently rubbish, for one thing. But EVIL DEAD isn't rubbish, though I may have you believe otherwise by the time I'm finished.

Camping: it's not for me. 
The central conceit of this new version is excellent: five friends head to a remote cabin to help one of their group go cold turkey from drugs. One of them is a nurse, and tells the others that their friend is bound to say and do some weird things as she's in the grip of withdrawal, but that they should effectively ignore it/weather the storm. In any other film, this could be milked for all its worth in a psychological war of attrition, but this is the EVIL DEAD and things go tits up remarkably quickly. In fact, the entire pace of the film has a pleasing momentum. Nuts to character progression, where's the gore? Perhaps the most illuminating aspect of the film is that I can't recall any particular details about the characters, other than the main girl's name (Mia) and her brother's (David). Relatable characters don't have to be fleshed out, but they do at least need to act like real people. Unfortunately, the five main characters rarely do.

IDIOT.
You expect characters in a horror film to make stupid decisions. When they act realistically, it's a pleasant surprise. Conversely, when they act like out-and-out idiots, it's supremely irritating. Unfortunately, all the characters in EVIL DEAD fall into this latter category. The few smart choices they make are soon sabotaged by events, leaving them to do nothing but make ridiculous decision after ridiculous decision. Send a girl back into the house with a powerful demonic entity in the cellar, on her own? Sure! Repeatedly believe the demonic entity has somehow stopped being evil because it momentarily acts like its host? Makes perfect sense!

You can excuse a lot of nonsense in any film, as long as it maintains the fictive dream. Characters acting completely removed from any sense of reason or realism, when the universe they're in is supposed to be realistic, is one way to break this. It's true that, when CABIN IN THE WOODS came out, a lot of people said it would effectively ruin horror films. 'Ruin' might be too strong a word, but what it did do is shine a sharp and critical light on many tropes and clich├ęs employed by horror films whilst at the same time presenting them in a new light. EVIL DEAD, by virtue of its pedigree, ticks so many horror boxes it could almost be a parody, were it not played straight. I'm going to willfully ignore the completely unnecessary prologue and pointless, post-credit in-joke.


Frustratingly, it leaves out ideas from the original that are to the detriment of this new version. For example: in the original, the evil is awakened when a character plays a tape recording. Once they realise what they're hearing, it's too late to do anything about it. That felt organic. In the new version, the 'teacher' character flicks through the book, reads the multiple warnings, yet still takes action to decipher the hidden words and read them aloud. This would work if Teacher had already been shown to be anti-superstition, say, or in some way arrogant. "It's just words, don't be ridiculous" would be a feasible response. Instead, he totally disregards the creepy weirdness in the cellar, and the fact that the book is wrapped in a bin bag and barbed wire. Hint: it's probably bad news, so don't read it. Lucky for us the old 'curiosity killed the cat' card is played, otherwise they'd be no film.

EVIL DEAD is, at its core, a protracted victim story. People are in a location and bad things happen to them. The end. This is acceptable, indeed commonplace, in horror. Making characters change and develop as people, even if they then die, is a step in the right direction. Yet, the characters in EVIL DEAD are no different when they die than before the evil makes an appearance. As mentioned above, some don't even learn obvious lessons when they're right in front of their face (THEY'RE DEMONS! THEY TRICK YOU!). Come the end of the film, the only real lesson anyone has learned is not to read from a creepy book when it's literally filled with numerous warnings against reading from it.

"AAIIEEE! NETTLES!"


As beholden as it is to the rules of horror films in general, I also think EVIL DEAD breaks its own rules. Or flagrantly ignores them. We're led to believe the evil is effectively one demon, and that it will be free once it has claimed all the people in the cabin. It's established Mia is no longer herself, yet she still manages to be resurrected, and magically free of all the terrible self-mutilation she inflicted upon herself. The evil force then appears as her 'evil twin' (as it does at the start of the film) and goes on about taking her soul. But...you already did that, remember? You know, when you possessed her? You must remember. It was literally two minutes ago. And if David has the wherewithal to do a MacGuyver and jerry-rig a defib unit (seriously), why is he so wet the rest of the time? (I'm also not convinced he had a reason to make the defib when he did, but I might be wrong about this).

He can make a torpedo from a hairdryer and a paperclip.
Apparently, EVIL DEAD does a lot wrong. So what does it do right? In one of my favourite scenes, Mia screams and everything flies around and goes crazy, and "One by one we will take you all" can be heard buried under the noise. The sound design in general is top notch and helps set an, at times, palpable tension. It's also been widely noted that there is very little CGI (or full CGI) in the film, and this is one 'throwback' to old horror that I appreciate 10000000000000%. You cannot go wrong with showing someone vomit blood into another person's mouth, or carve their own arm off. Or stick a chainsaw in someone and go nuts. I giggled like a pervert at these bits and I can imagine they'll be a few 'rewind' moments when this film hits DVD in much the same way that kids used to freeze-frame Kathy Bates hobbling James Caan's legs. CRUNCH.

Ultimately, EVIL DEAD, with its gore, demonic voices and evil book filled with scratchy red writing, is the film equivalent of listening to a perfectly decent metal album. I feel a bit like a traitor for not adoring it, but the fact is it does everything you expect, sometimes even to the extent where you can 'count in' certain parts, but it doesn't do anything particularly interesting. This is not the same as being boring. Just as a decent album can feature a song with an unexpected time change (for instance), EVIL DEAD throws in a few of its own surprises, yet before long everything is back on track and playing by the rules. For the most part.