Slaughter by John Lutz – two thumbs down

Slaughter by John Lutz




See it at Amazon 


Pros: Decent premise

Cons: that goes bad

Scattered. Dis-jointed. Horribly grotesque.

I’m talking about John Lutz’s Slaughter. A serial-killer novel that just didn’t work for me. This book is part of Lutz’s Frank Quinn series. As it’s the first such book I’ve read, I can’t speak to whether this book is typical of the series or not. All I know is, it was a flop.

A psychopath is terrorizing a city. Sometimes it’s a single act of murder. Other times it’s an act designed to maximize the number or casualties. But all of the scenes of have two things in common – a small man hanging around to view the damage for himself, and an ever-present theme of “taking something apart”. Sadly, most times, it’s the bodies of the deceased that are taken apart, dismembered, then grotesquely posed for the authorities to find.

Like I said, the city is in sheer terror.

All of this would be fine, as the premise of a serial-killer thriller. After all, these books are supposed to have evil perps running around like they own the town.

But this book has some problems.

First the writing style. Bouncing back and forth between the past and the present is fine. In fact, it’s a technique I enjoy. I liked that we got a glimpse of our bad guy from the past. Helping us understand how he got that way. However there were several times where the action jumps, and left be confused as to what I was reading. Past? Present? It wasn’t always clear. Possibly because there were so many characters introduced with small roles that it was hard to keep them all straight. In fact, there’s a character who appears at the end, who I know was introduced earlier in the book but I’m hard-pressed to remember how and why.

Then there was the “out of nowhere” clue that was uncovered. When I say “out of nowhere” I mean it. I went back to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Nope, I didn’t. It’s just that Lutz threw us a major curveball. Twists and surprises are fine, but they should come with a neat “ah-ha!” moment – where you remember something from earlier that ties in and makes sense.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t warn about the grotesque violence in this Slaughter. Granted, with a name like that, you’d expect some violence. But this book goes above and beyond in that regard.

2 thumbs down for Slaughter.


It was a dark and stormy 19th century

“The Woodlanders” (1997the-woodlanders



Pros: Rufus Sewell, Emily Woof

Cons: predictable

Although I have never read a novel by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), from having watched the screen adaptations of his novels Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Ubervilles, I was pretty much able to anticipate the plot of “The Woodlanders” (1997) from very early on. I knew that Grace Melbury (Emily Woof) was going to let her social-climbing father (Tony Haygarth) push her into a disastrous match and that the soulful, yearning Giles Winterbourne (Rufus Sewell) would have his heart broken. Grace was his childhood sweetheart (five years younger than he) and when she returned from school (finishing school?), he expected she would wed him.

Successful timber-merchant Melbury had had his only child polished for a husband of higher status. Dr. Ftizpiers (Cal Macaninch) does not exude Giles’s virility and the emotionally (not to mention sexually!) inexperienced Grace weds him more from a sense of duty to obey her father than any feelings for him.

Giles continues to ignore Marti South (Jodhi May) a young woman whose feelings for him are as strong, if not quite so obvious, as his for Grace, and everyone (even Mr. Melbury) ends up heartbroken. I think this includes the rich widow, Mrs. Charmond (Polly Walker) who seduces Dr. Fitzpiers, though she is not seen after a meeting in the woods with Grace in which Grace refuses to pressure her husband to give up his mistress, more or less cursing Mrs. Charmond “See him as much as you want — until you wish you had never known him.”

Despite her husband’s desertion of her, the new divorce laws do not allow a divorce without physical cruelty, thwarting Mr. Melbury’s efforts to undo some of the damage his social-climbing has done his only child.

Giles manages to die preserving Grace’s honor in highly melodramatic fashion. And despite the timber business, the woods and green hills endure human follies and heartbreaks.

the-woodlanders-2üSewell who often played rascals (Cold Comfort Farm, Carrington) before being typecast as a villain (A Knight’s Tale, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) can also do stolid, like the sometimes flamboyant Alan Bates in John Schleisinger’s version of “Far from the Maddening Crowd” (though that character’s patience is better rewarded than Giles’s is!). Though not a great beauty (indeed, arguable less beautiful than Sewell ca. 1997), Woof delivered a solid performance as the young woman deferential to male authority (however misguided). Macaninch was suitably feckless (and lost in a rural setting) and Haygarth was suitably insensitive to his daughter’s feelings (and, indeed, nature!).

The Woodlanders13

Production values were BBC/Masterpiece Theater solid, effectively shot by Ashley Rowe (Calender Girls, Hot Fuzz). Producer/director Phil Agland has mostly directed documentaries (including five cinematographer credits along with six other directing ones), most recently (2012) “Baka: A Cry from the Rainforest” (of Cameroon).

BTW, -The Woodlanders_ was first published in 1887, between the more famous Thomas Hardy novels The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) and Tess of the d’Ubervilles (1891).

Robert Altman increased the length and perhaps upped the ante of “Persona”

3 Women (1977)



Pros: Shelly Duvall, Gerald Busby soundtrack

Cons: too long and slow and wince-inducing

I find Robert Altman’s 1977 “3 Women” excruciating watching—excruciatingly slow and wince-inducing for all three of the women. The hearty, gauche vision in yellow, Millie Lammoreaux (big-eyed, buckteethed and otherwise gawky Shelly Duvall) does not seem to me to deserve the scorn with which everyone except the new hire whom she shows the ropes and takes on as a roommate, Pinky Rose (Sissy Spacek, 27 when the movie was shot and seeming even younger) treats her. Millie is pretty unflappable and/or oblivious. Pinky is naïve and more than a little oblivious. There is little indication what the pregnant painter/barmaid Willie Hart (Janice Rule) notices or feels. She does not say a single word for considerably more than an hour into the movie. Her husband, Edgar (Robert Fortier) is a horndog cad, whom Millie unwisely beds, evicting Pinky from the other bed in the bedroom.


90-year-old long-time director John Cromwell (father of Jason), who also appeared in Altman’s “The Wedding”, was too old to be Pinkie’s father, so her denying it has some plausibility (perhaps her grandfather?). The 72-year-old Ruth Nelson was also (if not as much) too old to be Pinkie’s mother.

Duvall was the only set decorator listed for the film in IMDB, and presumably improvised more than a few of her lines. An uncredited Patricia Resnick (credited for story and screenplay of the later (1979) Altman debacle, “Quintet”) prepared a treatment based on a dream (complete with the two leads) dreamt by Robert Altman, who acknowledged being influenced by Bergman’s “Persona” with its famed mysterious personality switch between two women, the care-supplier and the taken-care-of woman).3Women2

Mildred (Pinky) and Millie may be aspects of a single person, though I don’t see Willie as part of a unity, except the quasi-family at the ambiguous end (I don’t see her as having absorbed the other two).

Altman himself said: “I’m trying to reach toward a picture that’s totally emotional—not narrative or intellectual—where an audience walks out and they can’t say anything about it except what they feel.” And counterpoised to Pinky absorbing Millie, there is a pair of twins at the geriatric facility where Pinky has just been hired at the start of the movie. She speculated that they switch back and forth who they are, though no personality differences between them registers. Sometimes a twin is just a twin

Gerald Busby contributed an atonal, rather ominous-sounding score. And as a pitiable worm who turns, Spacek had just played the title role in “Carrie” the previous year. Duvall was nominated for a BAFT best actress award and won best actress awards at Cannes and from the Los Angeles Critics Association, while Spacek (whom I think is the protagonist of the movie) won a best supporting actress award from the New York Film Critics for her performance. Duvall was runner-up to Diane Keaton’s Annie Hall for the New York film critics.


More than a chance of precipitation

The Weather Man (2005)

“Who wants to be foretold the weather? It is bad enough when it comes, without our having the misery of knowing about it beforehand.”       —Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat



[Rating: 3.4/5]

Pros: Phedon Papamichael ‘s cinematography

Cons: piling on frustrations

I found it very hard to get into “The Weather Man,” a 2005 box-office bomb written by Steve Conrad for Nicolas Cage, who plays the title role (with the “stage name” Dave Spritz) and directed by “Pirates of the Caribbean” money-maker Gore Verbinski (who went on to another commercial disaster that was also a critical disaster in “The Lone Ranger” in 2013). Dave is frustrated by the silliness/meaninglessness of his job as a Chicago tv weather announcer with no meteorology education. People in passing cars keep hurling fast food products at him, perhaps not liking the weather or frustrated at its unpredictability or not liking him. Analyzing it, he concludes that food is thrown at clowns and that that is how he is seen.

I find it difficult to believe that a national broadcast could be considering hiring Dave. Nicolas Cage is undeniably a movie star despite his odd look, but a national tv weatherman?

the-weather-manAside from “professional” “success,” he doesn’t really have the tribulations of Job. He alienated the wife he wants back, Noreen (Hope Davis), feels rejected by his successful novelist father (Michael Caine), and his children are somewhat troubled: his overweight daughter Shelly (Gemmenne de la Peña) whose peers call her “Camel Foot” and insists on clothes that maker her look absurd and attempting ballet with a totally unballerina figure, and Mike (Nicholas Hoult between “About a Boy” and “A Single Man”) who is in some kind of rehab for some kind of antisocial behavior. One of his counselors (Gil Bellows) wants to bed Mike, who does not respond positively.

houltDave takes over the bow and arrow he bought for Shelly, when she expressed an interest in archery, which leads to some striking images of ice-encrusted targets. In the last half hour, there are a number of beautiful images and Dave’s father makes an attempt to reach out to the son who continues to disappoint him (not for his job, but for inappropriate behaviors of various kinds).

Dave is not likable, especially when he is recognized by autograph-seekers (I think he should be flattered, not least considering what a low opinion of his “profession” he has.) Nicolas Cage is good at puzzlement and at having difficulty keeping his temper; Michael Caine is capable of underplaying. I eventually had to sympathize some with Dave, if more with Noreen, whose irritations with him seem amply justified both before and after their divorce. The acting was good all-around, the writing less so, and the cinematography of Phedon Papamichael (The Descendants, Nebraska, 3:10 to Yuma) exceptionally good.

I think “Quiz Show” with similar father-son dynamics is better, but “The Weather Man” is better than many (probably most) Nicolas Cage movies.

Before I Wake by Steven Spruill – an “ok” book

Before I Wake by Steven Spruill




See it at Amazon 


Pros: decent enough storyline

Cons: but a dull subplot and unlikeable characters

Some good. Some bad. That’s my quickie review of Before I Wake by Steven Spruill.

Meet Amy – she’s the head of Emergency at a big hospital. She’s got a big problem on her hands. Some men are dying of heart attacks, men who shouldn’t be dead. Otherwise healthy men with low risk factors. So why are they dying? And why are the deaths happening to men who are all similar in terms of career, height, and eye color. Worse of all, Amy’s own father fits the profile to a T.

On top of that, Amy’s having the same nightmare over and over – it relates to some repressed trauma from when she was a kid, but she just can’t remember what it was. And yet, as bodies start piling up, she’s convinced that the key to all of this lies in those long-forgotten memories.

So, the storyline is decent. There’s enough mystery to keep readers guessing. And a host of potential suspects.

But there were also flaws.

First, there was the character of Amy. I disliked her, for several reasons. First, she makes some really dumb moves, taking some really dumb chances – things that per her and her loved ones into unnecessary danger.   Secondly, there’s a romance angle tossed into the book, that I really hated. Put simply: Amy hops into bed with someone way too quickly for my taste, and without really considering the consequences.

Then there was a subplot about a stolen statue that I found completely ridiculous. It was dull, not needed, and should have ended up on the editor’s floor.

There was another subplot about the financial problems of the ER and the possibility of its closing. Though not related to the main story, I did find this tangent interesting.

Lastly, the “big reveal” at the end was more like a puff than a bang. When you get right down to it, the motivation behind the bad guy’s actions was ridiculous. I just didn’t buy it. I don’t accept he would have gone through so much trouble for the reasons I was given.

So, Before I Wake by Steven Spruill is just an “ok” book. Not the best, not the worst. Get it if you come across it at a garage sale, but don’t spend too much… It’s just not worth it.





A Classic Thriller.

Blow Out


Blu-Ray $22.49 at Amazon 


Pros: Well-done suspense, performances (especially Travolta).

Cons: Nancy Allen typical damsel in distress in spots.

(Note: This review originally appeared in slightly different form on

Brian De Palma is one filmmaker who has often been popular with fans. But critics tend to be split on his work. Some rave over it, yet others complain that he’s often derivative of Hitchcock. Yet he has managed to make a few films that both critics and fans agree on. Chief among those films is 1981’s Blow Out.

The film is a sort of homage to Michaelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow-Up in both title and subject matter. However, De Palma manages to infuse it with enough originality that it stands on its own. The film is an effective combination of paranoia thriller, political thriller and commentary on images and sound.

John Travolta stars as Jack Terry, a sound technician for a Philadelphia film studio that specializes in making low budget sleaze-o films. We see one of those sleaze-os in the first few minutes. It’s awful and at first we think this is just another lame exploitation film. Then we see that De Palma has fooled us. The sleaze-o is one that Terry is working on and his producer is not happy with the sounds of the screaming co-eds that a masked slasher is about to fillet. Around him we see hints of other things, most notably a TV news report about an upcoming election.

Fast forward to later that evening. Jack’s out by a lake in a rural area recording some natural sounds. A passing couple comments on the weird man with the recording equipment. Then a car goes by a split second before a tire gives out and the car plunges into the lake. Jack promptly jumps in and saves one of the passengers, Sally (Nancy Allen). Immediately upon arriving at the hospital with the young woman he saved, Jack is informed that the other person in the car (and who’s now dead) is the leading candidate in the current presidential race. They urge him to keep quite about there being a woman in the car with him as they don’t want a repeat of Chappaquidick. Upon making sure Sally’s okay Jack takes her back to her house. He then goes back home and listens to the audio recording he was making up until the accident. He hears something just before the tire blow out that sounds suspiciously like a gunshot. So he starts to dig around and uncovers a trail that leads to a conspiracy.

When Travolta performances from the late 70s/early 80s are thought of, it’s easy to bring up Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Urban Cowboy. But in some ways, Blow Out tops all three of those. Terry begins the film as a man who’s cynical yet still has ideals. The events of the film chip away at those ideals and by the end of it, he’s struggling to hold on to what’s left of them. Travolta does a gradual slow burn throughout the film and that works. This performance definitely is in the upper echelon of Travolta performances.

Unfortunately one can’t say the same for Nancy Allen. She’s not awful. But there are times where she gratingly comes close to the typical damsel in distress role as Sally. However, there are good performances by John Lithgow as the chilling hitman Burke and Dennis Franz as a sleazy photographer who may know more than he’s letting on.

De Palma’s direction works well for the script that he wrote here. He doesn’t go over the top as he would in his 1983 remake of Scarface, he lets the suspense build gradually and that works well. The ending is also effectively disquieting.

While it may not have the subtlety of its influences, Blow Out is an effective thriller that’s more intelligent and way better made than most Hollywood thrillers. Definitely give it a look if you’re tired of un-thrilling ones.

Survivor in Death by J. D. Robb – decent addition to the series

Survivor in Death by J. D. Robb



See it at Amazon 


Pros: Decent character development

Cons: Not the strongest mystery in the world

Survivor In Death is the 20th book in J.D. Robb’s In Death series.  Set in the 2050’s, this series follows Lieutenant Eve Dallas in the NY Police Department.  In each book, she’s dragged into a case – usually a homicide or two – and with the help of her co-workers, friends, and ever-present husband Roarke, solves the cases, and saves the day.

In this case, she has a horrible crime scene in front of her. Nearly an entire family wiped out in a terrible streak of violence. The only survivor – the young daughter on whom good luck just happened to shine at the right moment.

Now Eve takes temporary charge of this young girl. For not only is she a survivor – she’s the only witness, and thus a clear threat to the perps. For all of these reasons, Eve will do whatever it takes to keep her safe, and to find those responsible for the murders.

Along the way, more bodies will pile up and a convoluted story of revenge takes shape. And all the while, Eve develops a bond with this young girl as Eve’s own terrible childhood memories are called to the surface.

Survivor In Death was enjoyable in terms of the character’s growth and development even if it wasn’t the strongest mystery in the world. In fact, the mystery as to “whodunit” was pretty lame. I barely followed the convoluted logic involved in the motives given. And a whole lot of things made little sense, in terms of the chances the bad guys take, in order to meet their goals.

But Survivor gives us a whole lot of character growth, and in a series of books that currently stretches over 40 volumes, these characters need to grow and change, or the whole thing gets tiresome. Having Eve and her husband Roarke be around a kid was just the thing they needed. Truly. After all, a big part of their personalities comes from something they have in common – horrid, tragic childhoods. Getting to spend time with a kid who has been through the ringer helps Eve and Roarke put their own pasts just a little further behind them.

I also really enjoyed the banter between Eve and her co-workers. Typically these books have a bit of humor in them, but this one was exceptional in that regard. And best of all, Roarke wasn’t overly annoying in this book, as he sometimes is.

So, all in all, Survivor In Death worked, for me. Not the best mystery, but a decent addition to the In Death series.

Other books in the In Death series

Born In Death
Celebrity In Death
Ceremony In Death
Concealed In Death
Divided In Death
Glory In Death
Haunted In Death
Indulgence In Death
Innocent In Death
Interlude In Death
Judgment In Death
Midnight In Death
Missing In Death
Naked In Death
Origin In Death
Rapture In Death
Reunion In Death
Salvation In Death
Strangers In Death
Treachery In Death
Vengeance In Death

House Of Many Rooms by Marius Gabriel – not very thrilling

House Of Many Rooms by Marius Gabriel



See it at Amazon 


Pros: starts out OK

Cons: devolves into a dull drama

I’m not sure what genre Marius Gabriel’s House Of Many Rooms should be in. On the front cover, it refers to itself as a “thriller” but it wasn’t very thrilling. It was a bit of mystery, but even that was pretty lame. Basically, it was a drama.

Imagine how you’d feel if you were living a decent life, minding your own business, when a newspaper article catches your eye. A woman is dead after a family home catches fire. And the suspect is the woman’s thirteen-year-old adopted daughter. Now imagine you’re the biological mother of that little girl – you’ve hardly thought of her at all over the past thirteen years. You gave her up for reasons that, at the time, seemed sound. But now you wonder – what has this girl’s life been like? What would drive her to do such an unthinkable act? Or, is she innocent, with something far more sinister going on in her adoptive family?

This is what’s happening to Rebecca. She’s recovering from a terrible accident when this information falls into her lap. And now she’s on a quest – to find her little girl and get her out of whatever trouble she’s in. But the road is a long one, fraught with dangers from several angles. Not the least of which is the adoptive father who has no intention of giving up “his” daughter.

The characters were well-fleshed out. We feel we get to “know” them. Not necessarily like them, but at least we understand their motivations a little bit. I enjoyed the first two-thirds of the book immensely. The part where Rebecca formulates her plan and puts it into motion. The final third, however, was a bit lacking. By that point, I pretty much knew how it would end; there was very little in terms of surprise or twist. And I hated when the bio-dad got involved. The story got a bit ridiculous, at that point. I just didn’t feel the characters acted in ways that rang true.

Basically, House Of Many Rooms is a drama. It would make an interesting Lifetime movie. But as a novel, it falls apart two-thirds of the way through. Forgettable and trite, this one gets two thumbs down from me.

Vivid horrrors of African child soldier life

Beasts of No Nation (2015)beasts-of-no-nation-Abraham-Attah


[Rating: 3.4/5]

Pros: location photography, child actors

Cons: piling on

“Beasts of No Country,” the high-profile Netflix theatrical and streaming release of Cary Joji Fukunaga’s adaptation of the novel of the same name by Nigerian-American writer Uzodinma Iweala filmed in Ghana is not for the squeamish. Probably its target audience is unfamiliar with the phenomenon of child soldiers in African civil wars (including Ghana’s neighbors, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as the Sudan and the Congo and the Central African Republic). I can’t imagine a viewer not sympathizing with the boy Agu (Ghanian Abraham Attah) , who, after seeing his father and older brother shot (by government forces) and escaping into the forest is brainwashed by the Commandant. Though a quite scary and manipulative dude, the rebel (NDF) commandant (never given a personal name) as played by Idris Elba (Luther) does not seem to me to be psychotic enough (in comparison with Mizinga Mwinga’s rebel commander, “The Great Tiger,” in “War Witch” (2012). Both are megalomaniacs. Both persuade their child soldiers that they are magically protected from harm from bullets and both are masters of rhetoric, extending into frothy cheerleader mumbo-jumbo. Both are paternalistic opportunists with no clear ideological rationale for the mayhem their irregular troops commit (so is Michel “Daddy” Obese (Abby Malibu Knag) in “The Silent Army” (2009)).


And though Agu’s initiation to killing is horrific and very graphically displayed, it not quite as traumatic as that of Komono in “War Witch” or of Abu in “The Silent Army.” (Both of them had to kill parents or be killed themselves.)

Agu is befriended by an agemate, Strika (Emmanuel Nii Adom), who also is fiercely loyal to the Commandant, who used both boys sexually. That (plus drugs) seems to be what has made Strika mute, and Agu is far from garrulous even when in safety and telling a counselor that if he recounted what he had seen and done, the counselor would think Agu a beast or a devil.

As the title indicated, neither book nor movie specifes the country/civil war into which Agu is embroiled (and smoked, which I thought was a Melanesian rather than an African initiation constituent). Good as “Beasts” looks and sounds, and as good as the acting on display in it is, the most one can feel for Agu and Strika is pity, rather than caring about what happens to the somewhat older leads, Komono and Magician, in “War Witch.” (Both movies have voiceover narration, Komono’s directed at the baby she is carrying inside her.)

I think that the delusional Commandant at the end was influenced by Kurtz from “Heart of Darkness,” or perhaps by Marlon Brando’s upcountry Cambodian incarnation of him as a renegade US Army colonel in “Apocalypse Now.” The conception of the dangerous boys was perhaps influenced by “Children of Men,” though those Rio favela boys operated more independently than the Commandant’s cadres did.

Though probably best known for the first season of “True Detective” (2014), biracial (Japanese and Northern European ancestry) Fukunaga who was born in Oakland in 1977, seems to have an affinity for showing children in extreme situations: those fleeing gang violence from El Salvador across Mexico (mostly on the top of freight trains) in “Sin Nombre” (2009), the abused child Jane Eyre (2011), and now Agu. Though himself suffering from malaria, Fukunaga had to undertake operating the camera when the cameraman was disabled at the start of production. Dan Romer provided atmospheric, sometimes electronic music.

I often question MPAA ratings of sexual suggestion (let alone content), but think “Beasts” should have an NC-17 rating for ultra-graphic violence.

Trailer at


(I discussed the earlier African child soldier movies in my Kindle book An Introduction to African Cinema, the book War Child and documentary movie “Lost Boys of the Sudan” on epinions.

Natrol Papaya Enzyme for Easier Digestion

Natrol Papaya Enzyme

Papaya Enzymes

See it at Amazon 


Pros: good flavor, works well, fair price, no artificial ingredients

Cons: not readily available in stores, I must order online

I have a hard time with my digestive system being kind to me, so I’m always on the look-out for natural products to help me   I’ve been using Natrol brand Papaya Enzyme for  years now, and love them.

What first drew me to the Natrol brand was the ingredients.  When I take supplements, I prefer them to be devoid of artificial ingredients.  This fit the bill.  Sweetened with natural sugars and colored/flavored with  real, found-in-nature stuff, there’s nothing to dislike here.

These are round, chewable tablets.  They are sweet but not sickening sweet.  They have a nice, tropical fruity flavor.  The texture is smooth, not gritty or chalky at all.  They disappear quickly when you chew them up and leave no residue or film in your mouth.

I take them after dinner every night, and sometimes after lunch.  They aren’t medicine, they’re a dietary aid which helps the body naturally digest foods, especially protein.  I used to experience indigestion after eating a meal with red meat, no matter how slowly I ate.  That happens no more when I take my Papaya Enzymes.  I rarely have indigestion at all now, even on Burrito Fridays!

I am lactose intolerant (and severely so), and avoid dairy.  I will say that these Papaya Enzymes provide no help when I slip up and consume dairy.

A serving size is 2 chewable wafers.  I eat one when my meal is lighter, and two when it’s heavier or contains a lot of meat or spice.  If you forget to eat one right after your meal, don’t worry, it’ll still help you out even an hour later.  Trust me, I’ve done that a number of times!  On occasion, I’ll forget them or will eat out at a restaurant and not have any with me.  I’ll feel kind of heavy in my belly, slightly unsettled and then I realize I need my enzymes.  I take them at some point later and they will still help.  Longer than about two hours and it’s not going to help as much, though, as digestion is well under way.

If you’re wondering what exactly these enzymes are, they are papain, papaya, bromelain, and alpha amylase.  To me, this is a great combination to help with digestion of any kind of food.  I have tried several other brands over the years and none have given me the results the Natrol brand has.

Sadly for the gluten intolerant, these do contain wheat (found in the alpha amylase, according to the label).  However, they are free of dairy and egg.  In the future they may be gluten free, formulas can change, so it’s something worth keeping an eye on.

Right now I haven’t found these in any stores in my town.  I order online (from and they’re around $5.00 for the bottle containing 100 tablets.  Very fair price for this quality product.

If you suffer from even occasional indigestion, or “unwell” feeling after eating, try these, they’re awesome.  They really do make a difference in how I feel after eating a meal.

  • made in the USA