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Thursday, January 23, 2014

FIGHTS: Link - BISH'S BEAT: FIGHT CARD, CHARITY, AND COMMUNITY

ZBFbooks.com has the unique opportunity to participate in a fight themed anthology from the boys and girls at 'Fight Card' books.  It's a great little book from a unique community of writers who also enjoy combat sports.



Check out the great things 'Fight Card' is doing for writers at the link below, as well as the purpose of this anthology, featuring the ZBFbooks.com short, 'Puncher's Chance'.



BISH'S BEAT: FIGHT CARD, CHARITY, AND COMMUNITY: FIGHT CARD, CHARITY, AND COMMUNITY What is community?   Is it simply a geographic area where people group together while leading separat...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

BLOOD: Link - All I needed to know about life I learned from “Dungeons & Dragons”

Check out this sweet tribute to D&D in the link below!

It's the reason the protagonists in 'Big Cat' had such a good time!

All I needed to know about life I learned from “Dungeons & Dragons”

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

BLOOD: Review - Spooky chills in 'Devils in the Darkness'

SUPERB ACTING, BIZZARE SCRIPT HIGHLIGHT WELL DIRECTED SCI-FI CHILLER
by
Bowie V. Ibarra


ZBFbooks.com had the privilege of previewing a Michigan-produced independent chiller called 'Devils in the Darkness'.  As an avid supporter of the works of Joseph Scott Anthony, I was excited to see what the enthusiastic and skilled movie artisan had helped put together.  What I got was a quality spooky tale with a  sci-fi edge.  There's a line in the opening scene that is a great foreshadowing of the chills to come:  "It's just further out than I thought it was going to be."

You don't even know.

Check it out.

The story is about a newbie in-house nurse/provider named Mike Hill (played by David Gries) who is assigned to take care of an enigmatic shut-in named Stanton Pinborough (played by Joseph Scott Anthony - imdb).  The place he's staying is out in the sticks.  And on his drive there, he sees these strange shadows in the woods and around the house.

When he arrives, the provider assistant is running off, claiming the house will be his tomb.  He joins the lead provider at the house named Robin Bradbury (played by Lisa Mueller).  The two are able to keep tabs on Stanton through a baby monitor on the table, where the old man can be heard coughing, wheezing, and cussing through his strange affliction.  Stanton is holed up in his upstairs room next to a small homemade ballroom that he enjoyed dancing with his wife in.

Mike learns that Robin knew Stanton when she was a kid and experienced a bizarre episode at his house.  Mike then learns Stanton somehow lost his mind and became a hermit after his son mysteriously died at the age of 7.  His wife also died under mysterious circumstances.  The guy used to have a lot of money, too, but lost all of his fortune.

So, as the mysterious shadows begin to close in on the house, and Robin disappears, Mike discovers more clues to what is happening at the house.  He finally has to find the courage to meet Mr.
Pinborough for himself and get to the bottom of the strange happenings in and around his house.

Mike is not ready in the least for what he discovers.

The cast for the movie was outstanding.  David Gries and Lisa Mueller provide outstanding and natural performances.  The two actors were totally in each moment, and their skill in front of the camera was evident, with a  consistency unlike any other independent project.  David Gries provides a sensitive character that discovers a more assertive side to his character as the movie progresses.  Lisa Mueller sets the stage for David's character and the audience, building the mystery with her dialogue.  And Joseph Scott Anthony does an outstanding job as the lunatic they have to take care of, putting energy and a little madness in his performance.

Director Daniel Falicki was amazingly skilled as well at the helm.  You can tell Falicki used the best film and equipment for the production.  Landscapes were framed beautifully, as well as the faces and conversations inside the house for the dialogue-driven early part of the film.  Good camera angles and establishing shots were plentiful.  Falicki also had a hand in developing the story, which seemed to take cues from another tension-delivering sci-fi pic, 'Signs'.  And in true independent movie fashion, Falicki also plays a part as one of the mysterious creatures assaulting the house.

Though the film concentrates on dialogue to provide the growing mystery, there's plenty of unexpected chills throughout the film from Falicki.  There were many frightening 'hiding in plain sight' chills and a distinct building of tension from the moment Mike arrives on the property that culminates into his ultimate encounter with Stanton.  I couldn't help but feel tense and stressed as the movie moved forward, and that's good.  That building of tension and mystery is the movie's strength, and Falicki maximizes its efficiency.

To accentuate the already spooky atmosphere of the flick, Tom Ashton provides a great score that heightens the frights and builds the tension in each scene.  For an independent flick, it was actually a pretty good score.

The only marks I might put against the movie is the volume.  With such natural delivery from the characters, there were times throughout the movie that I could not hear or understand what the actors were saying.

'Devils in the Darkness' is an enjoyable and chilling story with a sci-fi edge.  The film is worth a look, with a bizarre story akin to 'The X-Files' and a cast of skilled actors that take it to the next level.  It's a great example of the quality independent film scene coming out of Michigan.  Find it and watch it when you get a chance.

BOWIE V. IBARRA earned a BFA in Acting and a Masters in Theatre History from Texas State University, and worked in the film and television industry for several years.  Bowie currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, writing tales filled with zombies, blood, fights, or all of the above.

His latest title, 'Sword of the Angel', is a story of a lucha libre legacy who is searching for answers to his future in the sport when the zombie apocalypse hits.  It is available in paperback or kindle HERE.



Network with Bowie and explore his library of written works at his official website, ZBFbooks.com.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

FIGHTS: It's time for UFC to consider protecting fighter's limbs

SPORT 'SAFER THAN BOXING' CONTINUES TO IGNORE SAFETY OF FIGHTER'S LIMBS
By
Bowie V. Ibarra


Can we have this conversation now? 

You know, about protecting the limbs of fighters with resources that are already out there?  We're not reinventing the wheel here.  As we let these noble warriors beat each other senseless for the sport they love and we love watching, can we at least extend their livelihoods by protecting the things we can still protect?

There's never going to be anything that truly takes away from the brutality of combat sports.  But like 12 oz. boxing gloves protect the hands of boxers but doesn't take anything away from the damage they can do, perhaps its time for the Powers-That-Be in MMA to consider shin guards.  They are not uncommon in combat sports.  In fact, in organizations like Pancrase, they're required.  Like boxing gloves protect the knuckles of fighters (and, in turn, their livelihoods in the sport), lets bring in shin pads.

This tragedy with Anderson Silva's leg is not some kind of freak accident, either.  This happens a lot in kickboxing.  It happened before in UFC's The Ultimate Fighter with Corey Hill.  Simply look on YouTube for 'kickboxing broken legs'.  It happens a lot.  And MMA breaks show up in that search as well.

Do these folks bounce back?  Sure.  They can.  But why return when the same danger awaits?  And why lose all that time from your chosen career field with little to no insurance?

With that said, it might also be time to reconsider shoes as well.  From what I understand, there was some suggestion that shoes can be used to some advantage in a fight, which is why they are not allowed.  But they can also prevent broken toes as what occurred with another UFC Champ Jon 'Bones' Jones.

Now what happens to fighters brains is out of everyone's control.  Brain damage from concussions, from mild to severe, is a fact of combat sports now and forever.  Nothing short of stopping fighting will ever stop that.  But protecting the limbs and appendages of the fighters can and should happen.

Let's consider this:  Three of the biggest champs in the UFC sustained severe injuries.  Two of those injuries could have been prevented.  'Bones' big toe break could have been prevented with shoes.  Anderson's could have been prevented with shin guards to absorb the impact.  That's three of the sports biggest cash cows out due to injury.

That's money out of Dana's pocket.  That's fans cheated out of great fights in the future.

UFC, Unified Rules makers, anyone responsible for protecting fighters, lets get on this today, okay?

Think of your pocket books.  That's what you do anyway.

'Pit Fighters: Baptism by Fire' and 'Pit Fighters: Double Cross' are combat sports-themed book that features fights from the early days of MMA, and plenty of underground money fights.  You've got to check them out, and they're available on Kindle or paperback today.
 
 
BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuster.  His latest story, 'Tejano Star and the Vengeance of Chaplain Skull' is a Tex-Mexploitation superhero story in the tradition of 'Machete' and 'Black Dynamite'.  Get it in paperback or Kindle today.

FIGHTS: From Jackass to Tragedy, and UFC 168 recap

SHOT AT REDEMPTION ENDS WITH BROKEN LEG, SECOND UFC FIGHT LEGEND PUT ON SHELF
by
Bowie V. Ibarra


In the course of two weeks, the UFC and the mixed martial arts world lost two of the greatest fighters to ever walk into the pit of combat to the sport they love.  George St. Pierre walked away and took a hiatus due to alleged nagging vision, sleep, memory, and anxiety problem.  Those symptoms are in line with concussions.  Considering the hours St. Pierre has spent in the ring and training in combat sports, what he claims could be true, and early symptoms of long term problems.

St. Pierre was fortunate, however, being able to, literally, walk away for a while as the lastest MMA disaster followed only a week later.

Anderson Silva, another one of the most dominant MMA fighters in the world, was seeking redemption at the end of 2013.  Silva was looking to reclaim not only the belt he held for over 6 years, but to reclaim his dignity after being knocked out clean and cold by while goofing off during a fight with the newly-anointed champ, Chris Weidman.  In spite of its decisive  outcome, pundits would call it a fluke on Weidman's part. 

Again, folks, the champ acting like a jackass and getting knocked out clean for it is not a fluke.  It's a victory.  A total victory.

So Silva walks into the fight much more serious than before and is holding his own in the first round, despite losing the round.  The second round begins.  A Silva kick is checked, and he falls to the mat writhing in pain, having broken his leg on Weidman's leg.  Weidman retains via TKO.

And again, sorry folks, but that's a decisive win as well.  The point of the sport is to incapacitate your opponent via KO, submission, or injury.  Anderson's leg break was not a fluke, but the result of a trained defense to the move.

Fights have ended early on cuts.  David 'The Crow' Louisau was infamous for using his elbows to open cuts to end fights.  Tim Sylvia got his arm broken with an offensive grappling technique.  That's the rules.

Believe me, I wanted to see Anderson redeem himself.  He got what he deserved in the last fight, so I wanted to see his return to glory.  But it was not to be.

In what I saw as the most ironic twist of fate, imagine what would have happened if Silva didn't play around in their first fight.  He might have beat Weidman and this rematch would have never happened.  Destiny proved that Silva's poor choices in the first match brought this moment to all of us.  And, almost poetically, Silva has moved from noble champion to foolish clown to sad cripple, never to step into the cage again to taste the glory he once held fast in his very hands.  The same hands he watched that glory fall through his fingers like sand.

And though its been reported that Anderson wants to train when the time is right, it would be a foolish decision.  Returning from an injury like that would be stupid.  But who am I to judge the heart of a warrior like Anderson.  I just don't want to see his leg snap again.  Its even been reported that his son hopes his father gets well and retires.

He needs to take some time and let it go.  We're already having a hard time remembering how great he was, even though he eclipsed his previous stupidity with this tragic outcome.

Fate is cruel.

AND NOW, SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

There's never going to be anything that truly takes away from the brutality of combat sports.  But like 12 oz. boxing gloves protect the hands of boxers but doesn't take anything away from the damage they can do, perhaps its time for the Powers-That-Be in MMA to consider shin guards.  They are not uncommon in combat sports.  In fact, in organizations like Pancrase, they're required.  Like boxing gloves protect the knuckles of fighters (and, in turn, their livelihoods in the sport), lets bring in kneepads.

This is not some kind of freak accident, either.  This happens a lot in kickboxing.  It happened before in UFC's The Ultimate Fighter with Corey Hill.

Do these folks bounce back?  Sure.  But why return when the same danger awaits?

With that said, it might also be time to reconsider shoes as well.  From what I understand, there was some suggestion that shoes can be used to some advantage.  But they can also prevent broken toes as what occurred with another UFC Champ Jon 'Bones' Jones.

Now what happens to fighters brains is out of everyone's control.  Brain damage from concussions, from mild to severe, is a fact of combat sports now and forever.  Nothing short of stopping fighting will ever stop that.  But protecting the limbs and appendages of the fighters can and should happen.

Let's consider this:  Three of the biggest champs in the UFC sustained severe injuries.  Two of those injuries could have been prevented.  'Bones' big toe break could have been prevented with shoes.  Anderson's could have been prevented with shin guards to absorb the impact.  That's three of the sports biggest cash cows out due to injury.

That's money out of Dana's pocket.  That's fans cheated out of great fights in the future.

UFC, Unified Rules makers, anyone responsible for protecting fighters, lets get on this today, okay?

Photo ripped-off from MMAJunkie.com

UFC WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
'ROWDY' RONDA ROUSEY (C)
VS.
MIESHA 'CUPCAKE' TATE

These bitter rivals threw down in yet another outstanding matchup.  Tate's plan was to drag champ Rousey into the later rounds, suspecting that since the champ had never made it to the late rounds, that she might not have enough gas in the tank for the challenge.

Well, she was wrong, and lost again to an armlock.

Let's face it, the only woman who is going to test Rousey will be Cyborg.  But you know UFC is not going to sign her anytime soon.

JOSH BARNETT vs. TRAVIS BROWNE

Jeez, Travis Browne is no joke, rocking Barnett early before taking him out with a series of elbows to the side of the former UFC champ's head. 

Let's make that Cain Velasquez/Travis Browne matchup now, Dana.

LOSER LEAVES TOWN MATCH
CHRIS LEBEN vs. URIAH HALL

It was Brawling vs. Science in the veritable 'Lose Leaves Town' match between Leben and Hall.  Their contracts were up and the winner had a chance to stay in the UFC while the loser loses their UFC contract.

With so much on the line, the two fighters took their time in the first round.  But that played more into Hall's methodical approach.  Perhaps if Leben had used more of his brawling tactics that had made a name for himself in the years before, he might have had an edge.  But Hall messed him up with a flurry of punches and kicks that made Leben cash out between rounds.

Need an MMA fix?  Check out this combat sports titles on Kindle or paperback.

'Pit Fighters: Baptism by Fire' and 'Pit Fighters: Double Cross' are combat sports-themed book that features fights from the early days of MMA, and plenty of underground money fights.  You've got to check them out, and they're available on Kindle or paperback today.
 
 
BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuster.  His latest story, 'Tejano Star and the Vengeance of Chaplain Skull' is a Tex-Mexploitation superhero story in the tradition of 'Machete' and 'Black Dynamite'.  Get it in paperback or Kindle today.