Sunday Lowdown #127


This week was not stellar, so I’m going to focus solely on my Friday night horror movie pick. I watched Boar, an Australian creature-feature about a boar the size of a station wagon that eats/chases/gores/beheads all the nice Australian people. The effect on me is 1) I now have to worry about murder pigs if I ever head to Australia, 2) I kept saying “too right!” for a whole evening, and 3) I learned the phrase “hotter than a tom cat with four balls.” Apparently, there is also the 1984 Australian horror movie Razorback, also about a murder pig, and now I see a pattern.


Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaram is about parenting, immigration, class, and money. Interestingly, this is not a story about white people against a brown immigrant, as we often see, but second-generation Indian-Americans and an undocumented Mexican teen. Sekaram layers on the complexities, at times unnecessarily so, but she leaves no room for easy answers, either.

Is it real? Are the effects all in their heads? The Cipher by Kathe Koja is considered a staple of paperback horror. Full-on 1990s grunge shapes these desperate, depraved characters who each have a different vision of what is down in the “Funhole,” a literal hole in a squalid apartment building that only makes itself seen in the presence of our main character, earning him groupies and the attention of a power-hungry ex.


Why are so many villains disfigured? From witches to the Phantom of the Opera, an obvious difference is a sign of evil in many stories. Amanda Leduc weaves her personal history — using a wheelchair for a brief time in elementary school and her cerebral palsy and major depression — with fairy tales, both historic and Disney, in the book Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space. Review Tuesday.

I know that Outlawed by Anna North is getting loads of attention for being a lesbian western, but in 1995 there was Martha Moody by Susan Stinson. A woman so big she started her own town called Moody. Martha’s so influential that she inspires a series of mythical stories about her and her flying cow doing great deeds, all published in magazines. Martha Moody is just a person, but who is Martha to Amanda Linger, a homesteader’s wife . . . and the secret author of the popular stories? Review Thursday.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 222

Thank you kindly to Sue @ Whispering Gums for her recommendation!


    • Actually, it was serious. They weren’t making fun of the situation, and there were some graphic moments of bodies mutilated after the boar had left them dead.

      If you want horror that feels silly, track down a copy of Dead Alive or even Dale and Tucker vs. Evil. Those are great.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I asked the First Mate about both of your “silly” suggestions. He is the horror movie watcher. He enjoyed both of those but says that admittedly he was 14 when he saw Dead Alive. He prefers the Tucker one a lot more. He showed me a snippet from Dead Alive. So NOT me thing. The only zombie movie I sort of liked was Zombieland. I did not like World War Z. I do enjoy zombie books though.
        x The Captain


        • If you don’t like horror, but want something spoofy horror, most folks go for Shaun of the Dead. Dead Alive is more funny because the special effects are older. My favorite zombie movie is Dawn of the Dead (Zac Snyder edition). I also enjoy Night of the Living Dead, which is low on gore and more about people. Plus, it’s free everywhere because they forgot to copyright it.


  1. I aam so thrilled you want to read Born into this, Melanie. Bill is reading it, but I have a sense his feelings might be more mixed. We’ll see.

    I have never heard of Boar, let alone seen it, but then I don’t know much about Aussie horror films. You made me laugh though about having to add murder pigs to the things you need to fear if you come to Australia. And, I love that you learnt that wonderful expression “too right” though I must say that I feel that comes more from my father’s generation than mine or younger. However, it may also be more common in rural areas where I presume murder pigs reside since I haven’t seen any in the streets of my town!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Murder Pig” is an amazing nickname for boars, and also a sound reminder that Australia has WAY too many animals who want to kill people. 😛
    Looking forward to your review on Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space. It sounds really interesting! 🙂
    Hopefully this week will prove to be better. ❤


  3. I had to pause over murder pigs to wonder if this was a real Australian phenomenon or something made up for a movie. I’d really believe either.


  4. Australia already has enough alarming wildlife without adding murder pigs to the list! Although I was under the impression that wild boar are quite violent enough alone even when they aren’t the subject of a horror film, and those are hardly an Australia-only phenomenon.


    • Too right! I wrote a similar comment to Karissa just a moment ago. Boars in North America, etc. can be pretty dangerous. I read that the boar will attack, usually in the thigh area, and then step back. If you keep moving, they attack again and do this repeatedly until you stop moving. Note to future self!


  5. This reminds me of yet another werewolf movie. This one set in Australia. The Howling. Admittedly, it has been YEARS since I’ve seen them (there is more than one) and I cannot say if it’s actually good. I remember enjoying it when I was younger though. Another that I need to rewatch.


  6. I’m excited to see what you think of Amanda Leduc’s disfigured. She’s a big name in Canlit, and I’ve been meaning to read this one. Also, just can’t get over ‘funhole’. Am I like a teenage boy? Probably, I just laugh every time I see that word.


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