Posts tagged hockey
If you could give anything to have your favorite sports team win their respective championship, what would you be willing to give up? Coffee? Smartphone? Laptop or tablet? What about your soul? Or perhaps the soul of your loved ones? There are people out there, people such as JR
JR is an
avid dedicated intense obsessed hockey fan and his beloved Chicago Blackhawks haven’t won the cup in 50 years. JR would do anything, and he means ANYTHING to have The Hawks win that cup, and as the series starts we see just how much is at stake.
The first episode opens up with JR in a dark room, the light of the TV flickering on is face. It’s game 6 of the Stanley Cup and his Blackhawks are down 2-1 against the Flyers. The Blackhawks are up by one game and everyone knows that you want to win it by six, that seventh game is a doozy. Perched on the edge of your seat, fists clenched waiting to see who takes it. It’s make or break time and JR has decided it’s time for him to seek help from a higher power. First stop is God, praying to the heavens for help. Asking the lord and savior if his divine intervention will bring success to his beloved team.
Some of you may already see where this is going…
There was no help from God so JR had to look for help in a different place. A place of fire and brimstone, of pain and terror… that’s right, he asked the devil. Clutching his hands before his face, praying that the Dark Lord will hear his pleas and grant him the one wish he’s had for the last 28 years of his life. And then… the buzzers sound – The Blackhawks HAVE WON THE CUP!
JR is ecstatic, every moment of his life was leading up to this moment. His beloved team has finally won. Life is complete.
Four months later and it’s life is normal. Noelle, JR’s girlfriend, still fights for his attention against the Hawks and still loses. There’s a moment where it seems like he’s ready to take their relationship to the next level, but he’s only getting excited over some blanket. And here’s where, as the title suggests, All Hell Breaks Loose.
With flashes of light and some gnarly wind Noelle vanishes. JR is at the mailbox outside, eagerly opening his prized blanket, noticing nothing else that is happening around him. Which is unfortunate as there are zombies, a mummy and a demon hanging around the neighborhood.
This demon is someone that JR will be relying on, but he doesn’t know that quite yet.
Which brings us to episode two. Instead of spoiling it for everyone, I’ll now share what I think of the series thus far.
I love it. I really do, and it’s not only because I watch hockey, enjoy supernatural themes or think that JR is adorable. There is some great writing and concepts, and hey these guys are looking to launch a whole new film genre! The lead character is completely believable as a hockey obsessed blogger who dedicates his life to his team. The fact that he has a loving girlfriend may seem surprising to some, which may mean you don’t know people like that in your own life. I do, and the girlfriends/wives are some of the most patient people I have ever met. Mind you I don’t think many of them have been damned to hell due to their boyfriend making a deal with Satan…
But seriously this series deserves a shot to be continued. I don’t know very many series that combine hockey, Satan, demons, witches – Roller Derby witches at that – skateboarding mummies, zombies, vampires and whatever else is to come with hilarious writing and great characters.
I was given the opportunity to talk to Jeff Hersh (JR) and Mark Kosin who created the series and I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard during an IM conversation.
*Please note that I am not an interviewer and I had a list of questions, plus the idea to try and let it flow like a conversation. That means I interjected with things that aren’t funny – basically let them run with it.
Jeff Hersh and Mark Kosin have joined the conversation:
Me: Bear with me, haven’t really done one of these before
JH: Neither have I but it’s the future and this is how things are done in the future
Me: This is true! OK – so I shall get on to some questions I guess. Aside from the hilarious bios where did Hockey + The Devil idea come from?
JH: It was a combination of ideas. I’m a huge hockey fan and Buffy The Vampire Slayer/horror fan, and it just seemed like there was not enough hockey meets horror stuff out there. Plus it took almost 50 years for the ‘Hawks to win the cup, so there had to be some black magic or devil work in there right?
MK: That was my summation
JH: So now you need to make a deal. But when making a deal with the devil to get your hockey team to win, you gotta wonder who the Devil roots for. It’s too obvious for him to be a New Jersey (Devils) fan… so clearly it’s the (Philadelphia) Flyers.
MK: Way too obvious. It makes a lot of sense when you put it all together. Especially if you’ve ever met a Flyers fan.
JH: Not that we want to alienate the good viewers from the city of brotherly love… much
Me: Did you two play hockey?
MK: I played street hockey when it got popular in the late ’90’s – the “we just saw Mighty Ducks 2 lets all get rollerblades” era.
JH: As did I! But I kept with it, roller hockey every day after school in the neighborhood and then I started playing some ice hockey.
MK: Yes, the Blackhawks did a really good job forcing kids on to other sports by never airing hockey games on TV.
MK: Sadly… don’t worry he’s dead now.
JH: I’m an Islanders fan, so it was always within the realm of possibility that I could play for them… they’ve been pretty terrible most of my life. Plus they make their backup goalie their GM… so anything can happen.
MK: I wouldn’t be surprised if you could win a spot on the roster by entering a fan contest with the Islanders.
JH: Because we have no fans? They are just laying dormant, they actually have the core of some great young players, they might just be like the ‘Hawks in a few years. And of course I’ll make a deal with the devil if I must.
Me: Ah yes thank you, back to this deal.
MK: Jeff’s Hockey tangents are the things of legend.
Me: Would you classify this as a black comedy?
MK: I‘d say its a “black arts” comedy, more than a comedy. We don’t kill anybody without a joke and always leave open the possibility that they can come back. In a funny way, not in a Jay Leno way… like a zombie.
JH: But JR is kind of a goof thrown into this where things have horror elements, and sillinesm but the characters are still pretty serious about what they want. Whether to eat brains, save his girlfriend or overthrow Stan.
MK: JR approaches every situation with a hint of absolute terror and child-like ADD.
JH: Well said.
MK: Its funny because when Jeff pitched the idea he immediately installed himself in the lead – which is a testament to his tremendous ego and that he was really the only guy to play JR. Your classic post-modern man child.
JH: I thought he was more of a beefy sexual dynamo leading man type.
MK: Right… we keep forgetting to shoot that “JR sweeps a bus of vampire cheerleaders off their feet” scene
Me: Maybe coming up?
MK: Hopefully – though I think it’d be funnier if they took advantage of him, making him even more of a hollow shell. It just fits the actor better that way… RIGHT JEFF?
JH: I’m sorry. I missed the last few IMs, I was doing push-ups.
Me: Or was the game on?
JH: It is, Bruins vs Rangers
Me: You have three episodes planned – will there be more?
JH: Well, the people will hopefully demand more. We made three as kind of a pilot for an ongoing series.
MK: We really want to see how these play – plus we have lots of fun “extra” footage of all our characters. I love episode 2
JH: It’s the “Empire Strikes Back” of the Sin Bin Saga.
MK: Yeah it’s much more emblematic of the tone we want to set for the show… it’s dark… and ridiculous.
JH: And there are Roller Derby Witches
Me: Anything you want to say for #3?
JH: It has it all… Epic chase, epic battles, epic love scenes…
MK: epic… epicness. Wait did someone use that tagline already? Episode 3 is when it all comes together in one big awesome episode.
JH: It’s the “Return of the King” of the Sin Bin Legend. JR is on skates during it, so it was dangerous to shoot!
ML: The night we shot the final scene everyone was on skates…
JH: Look ma! No helmet!
JH: No… sadly LA weather put the kaboosh on our ice.
MK: Plus it would have thrown the Roller Derby Witches for a loop, and those are girls you don’t want to get angry.
Me: So basically action packed
JH: With heart
MK: And a few scares
JH: And a laugh
MK: And a musical number
Me: All very good things… wait what?
JH: Umm… We didn’t shoot that Mark. Oh wait, THAT musical number.
MK: Well PART of a musical number.
Me: Well don’t want to give away too many spoilers. Is there anything else you would like to add?
MK: If anything we hope to be surprising… just like the Hawks! We just really want to make our mark on the “Hockey Horror Comedy” genre… by inventing it.
JH: We hope people enjoy the show. We’ve had a ton of fun making it and we want other people to have just as much with this new “Hockey Horror Comedy” genre.
MK: If people have half as much watching it as we had writing it, I’ll be happy.
Me: Well I definitely enjoyed what I have seen so far and this chat has been hilarious.
JH: Well thank you for chatting with us! We appreciate it and Go Canucks!
MK: Whoa whoa… Hawks may face them in the first round.
Thus ends an hilarious chat, and for the record at the time of writing this the quarter-finals are Canuck 2 vs Blackhawks 0 Big thanks to Jeff & Mark for their patience waiting for me to get the interview scheduled and for being so funny!
Watch JR battles the forces of hell: http://www.thefacepuck.com
Make sure you follow JR on Twitter to get the latest updates of his adventures (especially with The Hawks in the playoffs against my Canucks!) @JRTheFacePuck27. Also don’t forget to watch the video blogs the characters have posted. Even though I still haven’t figured out how Noelle is blogging from hell…
Ever hear of the phrase, “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out”? Well in Ian Healy’s Blood on the Ice, the blood is of a different flavor than your basic in-game scuffle. And in this era of post-brooding-Louis and sparkling bloodsuckers, that’s a good thing.
Healy’s snickering, boyish humor is a highlight of this novel—from the characters’ postmodern comments on vampiric pop culture to the hockey teammates’ constant good-natured trash talking to the wry snarkiness of the “narrator” (a lovely twist as to the identity of the narrator I won’t spoil for you, but wait for the delightful punchline) pull us through this story with tight action and a keen series of cliffhanger chapter endings.
The basic dramatic action is as follows: our slightly naïve young protagonist is a part of a sub-sub-par hockey team in Canada (the Fighting Aardvarks—an awesome name), and is caught in the crossfire as his teammates slowly begin to transform into vampires. Already we have an unconventional pairing—hockey and vampires—that oddly makes a lot of sense. As we follow Hammie through one failed and one successful romance, through his slow discovery of why his teammates are acting so strangely, to his hilariously guilt-trippy parents, unusually brilliant history of vampires and probably the funniest character entrance ever (by a character with an equally ridiculous name: Doogie Van Halen), you get the picture right away that this isn’t your common vampire story, nor is it your common sports-underdog or rom-com story either: it’s a crazy mix of all these things and in the middle, you have characters that are so realistically drawn, you can’t help but root for the home team, even as they mold matzoh balls into bullets.
Three things Healy does especially well in this book: 1) his treatment of the female characters and the romance brewing alongside the action is not in any way sappy, but completely realistic: his women are strong yet feminine, Hammie’s adorable-yet-not-cloying attention to his new love spot-on, and his inclusion of a Goth girl is perfect within the panoply of characters. 2) Healy’s action sequences are exciting without being confusing, detailed without being weighty, and gory to the funniest degree. Of course, we should expect Healy to be good at action scenes, as it’s a bit of a specialty for him: . 3) the thread of the wry Narrator is gripping throughout—sort of a Chorus to the main throughline of the action.
Overall, this is a thrilling, funny read, and I highly recommend it. ~Prof. Jenn
The book’s page on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/b/38012
His e-book store: http://www.ianthealy.com/blog/?page_id=1321