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Tag Archives: Victoria Holt

Isn’t It Romantic?

Oh dear! It is happening again! I want to make my blog post NOW and I haven’t written anything yet, and I want to write it quickly.

How annoying. I had even thought of a good Friday Lame Post, complete with headline. But I didn’t write it while at work, because I was reading a romance novel.

I really want to clarify the term “romance novel.” Steven (my delightful husband) refers to them as romance novels, and I suppose at heart they are. However, they are not the soulless, stupid generic romance novels. I don’t want to mention specifics of authors or publishers, because I just don’t want the hate, but you must know what I mean. I shan’t even elaborate. But I will mention what I like: Regency Romances by Georgette Heyer, and Gothic Romances by Victoria Holt or Phyllis Whitney (and gothic has nothing to do with young people wearing all black and heavy eye-liner. Just saying).

Today was Victoria Holt. I would just like to mention that I often say I don’t read these books, I eat them. To me they are like potato chips. You start and you just can’t stop. You know they are not good FOR you, but they are JUST SO GOOD. You can’t stop. And sometimes you hate yourself in the morning.

In fact, I hate myself less for novels than I do for potato chips. Let’s face it: any reading probably does your brain some good. Junk food, not so much.

So now I am over 200 words. That makes a post, by my own self-imposed rules. I’m going to go ahead and enjoy my Friday. Hope you all have a happy weekend.

Oh No! It’s a Love Story!

I have not done anything really blogworthy so far today (although I may mock something up about my earlier gyrations), so I thought I could watch a cheesy horror movie to write about. I love to write about cheesy horror movies, and it’s Saturday afternoon. What better time for a monster movie? (Actually, in my estimation, any time is a good time.)

So after my usual Spoiler Alert, let’s get on with it.

I DVR’d I Walked With a Zombie (1943) from TCM sometime in October. Only an hour and fifteen minutes long. Perfect!

Of course I knew zombies in older movies are not usually the disgusting flesh-eating zombies we know and love from more recent fare (full disclosure: I haven’t seen a more recent zombie movie than the 1968 Night of the Living Dead; I just thought the expression “we know and love” would sound cool). Still, I thought catatonic undead, mindlessly obeying the nefarious behest of some villainous sort, what’s not to like?

Once again, I was in for disappointment. Oh, it was a perfectly good movie. I watched with interest. But it wasn’t a monster movie, it was a love story! It was based on a novel, and I know just the sort, because it is the kind I used to read all the time, in the tradition of Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, and whichever Bronte sister wrote Jane Eyre.

In fact, when I looked it up in Leonard Maltin’s 2011 Movie Guide (Signet, 2010), I read that it was loosely based on Jane Eyre. Maltin says it with an exclamation point, like he just can’t believe it. I can believe it. Brooding romantic guy in an exotic setting with a crazy wife, wholesome young thing to fall in love with him. That’s Jane Eyre. The charming younger half-brother and the wise (or IS she?) mother are more from the Holt and Whitney canon.

The atmosphere is pretty well done, and the voodoo scenes are creepy. There is one voodoo’d guy who is my idea of a 1940s zombie: bug-eyed, shuffling, doing what the voodoo guy orders him to do, pretty scary, although you could probably outrun him.

Perhaps I didn’t need the spoiler alert, since I haven’t said too much about the plot. I won’t, either, because I think the movie is worth a watch, as long as you don’t have your heart set on a monster. For a romance novel, it makes a fairly decent horror flick.