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Anthony J. Rapino ‘Loosely Enforced Rules’ Review


Written by: Matt Molgaard

I’d call Tony a friend, despite the fact we’re not exactly able to hang on Saturday nights and guzzle booze until our judgment flips the vacancy sign. He’s done some incredible work for HNR, and that work isn’t just appreciated, it’s enjoyed immensely. The guy can write. He can write damn well and he’s got one hell of a personality. But there’s a difference between writing a review, or an editorial, and writing a piece of fiction. We’re talking a big difference, two different worlds, to be honest. Rapino however, just proved, unquestionably, that it doesn’t matter what arena he steps in, he’s going to give his all, and he’s going to produce something damn entertaining.

Loosely Enforced Rules is a short story that I can’t talk too much about. It runs about 20-30 pages in length, and homes in on the events of one single night. If I give you too much info, I’m going to spoil this little guy, and it just so happens to be a beauty that deserves to be absorbed rather than ruined by a wordy review. I will say this: it’s essentially about a professional terror job gone wrong. That’s it.

If I’m underselling it, and creating something of a flat image for you, I’m not doing the story justice. It’s certainly not flat. Understand, it’s just really tough to sell it as it deserves to be sold without feeding you too much 411.

Loosely Enforced Rules is a little reminiscent of the amazing and highly underrated flick, Seven Psychopaths. It’s not a carbon copy of the picture, but the mood, emphasis on character examination and wild finale all feel rather similar. And I’m in for that. Seven Psychopaths was insanely entertaining. Loosely Enforced Rules was also insanely entertaining, and Rapino’s flare for colorful personalities keeps the narrative moving quite smoothly.

Expect to develop a quick fondness for a few key players in the story. Also look for a nasty little twist and a fun, albeit extremely dark climax. The humor is alive and kicking (which won’t be a surprise to anyone who knows Rapino’s work) and the concept Rapino works with is the kind of concept that can easily gain universal recognition. You don’t have to be a horror freak to dig this story, it is balls to the wall crazy, and it’s exactly the kind of effort you want to see from an author who has the potential to go far in the business.

Order it right here.

Rating: 5/5

About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

7 Comments on Anthony J. Rapino ‘Loosely Enforced Rules’ Review

  1. toddkeisling // June 4, 2014 at 12:51 am // Reply

    I enjoyed the hell out of this story.


  2. Wayne C. Rogers // June 4, 2014 at 1:01 am // Reply

    Matt, Anthony, Todd Keisling, Terry West. D.S. Ullery, and several others are just an example of the top-caliber writing that’s going on at HNR. These guys are the future of horror!


    • Greatly appreciate that comment, but I’ll be the first to tell anyone, I’m not half the writer those guys are. Talk about really, really special minds… man, those guys embody the idea. That said, I’m working to turn out stories on that level. And the truth is the guys you listed are just a few of the guys who inspire me. Just awesome guys crafting awesome stories. Tim is another super talented guy – I haven’t read Wes’ new book, but Paula was really impressed; Glenn is an absolute monster and Massa is a creative savage. You yourself have turned in some kick ass work for our compilations. Just a lot of quality writers here, so many I can’t even keep up with everyone’s releases (which bums me out). But I CAN say this: I’m honored that these guys (yourself most certainly included) are even interested in HNR, let alone interested in being a legit PART of the machine (wish FB maestro, James would send in more fiction, because he’s a damn monster as well). HNR may not be a massive money maker right now, but it’s a site I’m extremely proud of. Just wish I had an extra head with four extra eyes and an additional 30 hours in a day to do all the things I WANT to do. lol


  3. Wayne, if Matt’s review didn’t already put me on cloud 9, then your comment certainly got me there. Thank you.


    • You earned every word of that review. EXCELLENT work. Entertained from the jump well through the conclusion. I’d actually like to see another tale with the same characters involved, I’d say a sequel but we both know a prequel would be a better fit.


  4. Vitina Molgaard // June 4, 2014 at 6:52 am // Reply

    Been looking forward to reading this. I too find Tony’s work to be outstanding and always an interest trip through his skill. Plenty of praise here in these comments and I certainly hope that each of you know just how much I enjoy your varied writings. Just me…Vitina Molgaard


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