Articles on this Page
- 02/19/14--11:00: _'Dead Rising' Comes...
- 02/19/14--11:30: _Find Out How TV's T...
- 02/19/14--12:00: _Archaeologists in M...
- 02/19/14--12:30: _Book Review: 'Dust ...
- 02/19/14--13:00: _Africa's 'Dust Devi...
- 02/19/14--14:00: _Watch This Artist A...
- 02/19/14--15:00: _Five Awesome Minima...
- 02/19/14--16:00: _DIY Monster Makers:...
- 02/20/14--12:00: _World Clown Associa...
- 02/20/14--12:30: _The Weird and Twist...
- 02/20/14--13:00: _Five Potential Horr...
- 02/20/14--13:30: _Jamie Bernadette Ta...
- 02/20/14--14:00: _This Artist Twists ...
- 02/20/14--14:15: _'Godzilla' Poster D...
- 02/20/14--15:00: _Classic Short Story...
- 02/20/14--16:00: _Take a Chilling Clo...
- 02/20/14--16:30: _Tom Holland's 'Twis...
- 02/20/14--17:00: _'Castlevania: Lords...
- 02/21/14--12:30: _CineMayhem Film Fes...
- 02/21/14--13:00: _An Interview with L...
- 02/19/14--11:00: 'Dead Rising' Comes to Horrific Life in This Actual Robbery
- 02/19/14--12:00: Archaeologists in Mexico Unearth Ancient Dog Burial Site
- 02/19/14--12:30: Book Review: 'Dust Devils' by Jonathan Janz
- 02/19/14--14:00: Watch This Artist Age, Die and Resurrect in One Stop-Motion Minute
- 02/19/14--15:00: Five Awesome Minimalist Poster Designs for Classic Genre Movies
- 02/20/14--12:00: World Clown Association Fears National Clown Shortage
- 02/20/14--12:30: The Weird and Twisted at Toy Fair 2014
- 02/20/14--13:00: Five Potential Horrors For Next Season of 'American Horror Story'
- 02/20/14--13:30: Jamie Bernadette Talks About Her Newest Feature, 'Mile Marker Seven'
- 02/20/14--14:00: This Artist Twists Nylon Stockings Into Grotesque Human Shapes
- 02/20/14--14:15: 'Godzilla' Poster Debut
- 02/20/14--15:00: Classic Short Story Review: Neil Gaiman's 'A Study in Emerald'
- 02/20/14--16:00: Take a Chilling Close-Up Look at Mexico's Most Famous Mummies
- 02/20/14--16:30: Tom Holland's 'Twisted Tales' Coming to DVD
- 02/20/14--17:00: 'Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2' Soundtrack Review
- 02/21/14--12:30: CineMayhem Film Festival Returns to Los Angeles
- 02/21/14--13:00: An Interview with Lance Henriksen, Part 1: Projects and Philosophy
Dead Rising, as you probably know, is an open-world video game in which you are trapped in a shopping mall and trying to battle off hordes of zombies. I remember that when the game first came out in 2006, one of the key features was that anything in the world could be used as a weapon. Everything from traditional weapons (swords, guns, chainsaws) to whatever is lying around (skateboards, mall benches, mannequin parts, and flower pots).
A teenager in Australia took the game a little too far when he used a chainsaw to rob a convenience store. The cherry on top of this stupidity sundae is the fact that he wore a flower pot on his head like a helmet. The chainsaw was on when he lunged at a couple of store clerks, who hid in the back room. The teenager caused some property damage, mooned the employees, and left with only his chainsaw and a stolen soda. Luckily no one was injured. The kid was arrested as he fled the scene, and is being held on a host of charges, including armed robbery.
Source: Queensland Times
If you’re a film collectible aficionado, then you can appreciate when a company dedicates themselves to ensuring accuracy while developing their products. At American International Toy Fair in New York City this week, Mike Drake, the Director of Special Projects at Mezco Toyz, shared with us one of their most bizarre hunts to make their upcoming roto plush Mother from Psycho completely accurate to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror thriller.
Drake says problems started from the top. “We tried to find a reference at Universal for what mother’s dress looked like. We see mother’s hands for two frames in the film and we see her shoes in the scene where she’s being carried down the steps.”
Universal searched, and in the meantime Drake says they found Mother’s head at the Museum of Cinema in France. One problem: they had the head but not the dress. “The interesting thing,” Drake shares, “is that Mother’s head is really on a human skull with wax and tissue paper.”
Back in Los Angeles, Drake says, “Here’s where it gets really bizarre. We have Universal look in the archives for what the dress looks like and they said they don’t have anything even though they looked here and there. Usually there is some type of reference somewhere. Bob Burns, the famous [film memorabilia] collector thought he had a photo in his collection. As he looked, he suggested actor Daniel Roebuck– another horror film collector - might have something in his collection.”
Drake continues, “It turns out Daniel had a photo of Jerry Mathers working on the head with the body.” Wait, the actor who played the Beaver from the TV sitcom classic, Leave it to Beaver? Drake laughs and says, “Yes!”
“The guy who did the wig for the episode of Leave it to Beaver where Jerry Mathers gets a crew cut is the guy who did the makeup for Mother [on Psycho]. He had Jerry Mathers come and help him lay the hair on Mother. From that picture, we were able to recreate her dress.”
Mother in her resplendent cotton dress will be out in stores this year for $30.00.
The Aztec peoples called central Mexico home, and they held a belief that dogs were not just man's best friend, but rather man's escort to rebirth, after death. They believed that dogs could guide human souls into a new life, and so it's not uncommon for archaeologists to discover graves in the area that contain the remains of both humans and canines. What is unusual, however, is a discovery in Mexico City last week, which saw the unearthing of a grave site containing the corpses of several dogs, without any humans by their sides.
AOL reports that archaeologists announced the find last Friday, which they discovered under an apartment building in the Mexico City borough of Aztacapozalco. The remains of 12 dogs were uncovered at the burial site, and they believe that they were buried in the small pit between 1350 and 1520 A.D., which was the heyday of the Aztec empire. "This is not the first time a burial of a dog has been found, but it is the first find where many dogs were carefully buried together, in a setting that is like a cemetery," said anthropology professor Michael E. Smith.
Analysis is currently underway to determine the breed of the dogs and how they were killed, which could help to uncover the mystery of the rare find. What is the significance of their mass burial? Only time will tell.
How many clowns can you pack into a clown car? Well, not many of them, if there aren't any clowns available to pack!
As reported by the NY Daily News, membership in the World Clown Association, the country's largest trade group for clowns, has dropped from 3,500 to 2,500 in the past ten years, and the same decline in numbers has been experienced by Florida's Clowns of America International.
The presidents of both organizations fear a national clown shortage is impending, as older clowns are dying off, and younger generations simply have no interest in slapping on the grease paint and red noses. Higher standards amongst employers, like Ringling Bros., has also been cited as a reason for the decline.
Could the clown apocalypse be in our near future? Only time will tell.
Over in the UK, sightings of evil clowns are on the rise, so I guess the shortage is only impacting us here in the states!
Another American International Toy Fair is in the books and as always, aside from the kids products and the mainstream licensed products, we’re always guaranteed to come across some oddities walking down the aisles. It’s our luck that the strange stuff often has to do with horror-related collectibles and once again, we’ve collected some cult favorites and weird, but excellent things to bring an end to our floor coverage.
Talking Chucky Dolls
Mezco gives fans of the murdering hero of Child’s Play lots of new collectible opportunities this year with a 15-inch Talking Good Guy Chucky, or the evil 15-inch version from Bride of Chucky. There will also be 16-inch plush versions of Chucky and his beautiful bride, Tiffany. Last but not least, a stylized vinyl Chucky and a strange, decorative pillow that features the box art for the doll. Available in fall 2014.
Battle-Damaged Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man
Ghostbusters celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and Diamond Select Toys is honoring the franchise with two 24-inch versions of New York’s greatest enemy: the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. However, we think the best version is the slightly smaller Battle-Damaged version which features the burn marks left on the beast after the Ghostbusters fry him with their proton packs. Available summer 2014.
Kotobukiya Jason & Freddy Dolls
Kotobukiya produces some beautiful sculptures but the announcement of their new Bishoujo versions of A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy and Friday the 13th’s Jason inspired ladies is a little too weird for us to process. Available in late fall 2014.
With the new Godzilla film due this year, the menace of Japan is back in collectible favor again. Diamond Select Toys is featuring new versions including a 1989 style Godzilla vinyl bank, a classic style bust bank, a burning Godzilla variation and a golden Gihidra that looks amazing.
Monster High Dolls
Mattel’s goth line of dolls get even weirder with their Fusion assortment that mashes together popular dolls to make new dolls with names like Lagoonafire, Dracubecca or Neighthan Rot. We say let your freak flag fly as young as you can. Available June 2014.
Funko Pop Horror Figures
Horror’s contemporary greatest villains get the stylized urban vinyl treatment from Funko and they look pretty great. Chucky, Sam, Captain Spaulding, The Crow, Pennywise, Billy, Ghostface and Ash are new additions to the line this year.
Grimm’s Nick Burkhardt gets to look heroic in mid axe-swing (probably at some imaginary Wesen) for a Dark Horse bust that’s out now in stores. The show doesn’t get a lot of mainstream love so we like seeing cult show support.
Funko Pop Buffy the Vampire Slayer Figures
The Sunnydale Slayer gets the miniaturized treatment along with three of her great foes: Angel (bad when in Angelus mode), Spike (in fang mode) and a Gentleman from “Hush”. The whole line is due in June 2014.
All photos by Bill Edwards.
Now that Miss Robichaux’s Academy is closed for business after a season which played out like the bastard offspring of Dennis Wheatley and Jacqueline Susann, American Horror Story fanatics are already filled with a giddy sense of anticipation at what demented devilry the show’s creators will serve up when the fourth season rolls around in the fall.
The kind of creative risks and innovative storytelling displayed in American Horror Story might well have proven the kiss of death for a show in less capable hands. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk cunningly side-stepped this by utilizing an anything-goes format and taking a familiar core concept (i.e. haunted house, institution, witches coven) in a refreshingly bold direction where nothing is outside the realm of possibility (and in many instances: of plausibility) and absolutely nothing is sacred.
So it begs the question: where will they go next? We know that the fourth season will take place in the 1950s and could have a Cold War storyline that might take place in a circus. Will it channel the paranoid vibe of Jack Finney and explore ideas of infiltration, subjugation, and dual identities via trapeze artistry and clowning? Or will it have absolutely none of this?
I’ve compiled a list of five potential horrors for next season, complete with fake (and awfully derivative) synopses. What are your theories?
One of the most appealing aspects of the show is its unrepentant plundering of the shadowy spots in American history. This is always done in style and with a spectacular degree of bad taste. An interesting focal point with endless possibilities for horror would be a storyline revolving around a cult, perhaps with a plot heavily informed by The Jonestown Massacre and positing a “what if?” alternate history, looking at the formation of a self-sustaining cult. It could be a controlled environment without outside interference and would be built on misinformation, fear and an insidious indoctrination that begins in childhood. You know what would be even scarier: if the show’s protagonist was a 13-year-old girl whose hometown was a Lynchian retro-suburban nightmare of a society who has submitted to the will of an ancient god for generations. And if American Horror Story channelled the spirit of H.P. Lovecraft it might look a bit like this....
Anderton, USA population: 1476 – a picturesque and wholesome place of bake sales, glamorous suburban moms, star football players, picket fences, bloodletting and tentacled gods. 13-year-old Myra is about to find out that lurking beneath the retro-suburban gloss of Anderton is an ancient entity that feeds off purity. With the once-a-decade Festival of Nuclear Disbarment approaching, the child must put her life in the hands of The Intermediary, a Nyarlathotep-like figure who’ll take Myra on the most dangerous journey of her life: submission to The Sonar.
Drifter and con-artist Louise Penny arrives in town, celebrated upon her arrival as a “folk saint” by the odd townsfolk and delighted with the opportunity to fleece this flock for all it’s worth, unaware that in small-town Americana, horror hides and Louise has bitten off more than she can chew...
Potential episode titles: Indoctrinate. Ola, It's Time to Talk of Anderton. The Bombs will Fall...
AHS: VAMPYR (or NIGHT)
A while back, there was talk of a vampire-themed companion piece to the show and if anybody can make vampirism primal and frightening again, it’s American Horror Story. After Coven’s uniquely feminine perspective and grotesque camp, it would be fantastic to explore concepts (and pertinent issues right now) of home, masculinity, power and social stigma from a male point-of-view. 1980s New York during “The Birth of AIDS” would make an ideal setting, where the misconception that the HIV virus was directly linked to homosexuality was widespread. It would be a reflective horror that takes a look at the political landscape for LGBTQ folks right now. A scene-stealing Frances Conroy would be the perfect casting choice as a gender-swapped Nosferatu. A Michele Soavi-style interpretation of Anne Rice?
When 19-year-old runaway Andy, a teenager trying to escape the influence of a dangerously evangelical father, lands in Coney Island, New York during “The Birth of AIDS,” he believes he may have left that suffocating life behind him. After a violent encounter leaves him shaken, a “kind” stranger leads him to the infamous club City of Night and its owner Harvey (Zachary Quinto), and a whole new world opens up before him..
Potential episode titles: City of Night, No Place like Home, Night of the Hunters
Let’s be honest: Murder House, Asylum and Coven were all guilty of veering off course with bizarre plot tangents and abandoning logic when the creators wanted to tack on a gruesome set-piece. With a real-time technique spanning a total of 13 hours, the show could maintain a momentum and viewers might be spared the mid-season "muddle" area, trimming away those entertaining but extraneous episodes. Revisiting a minor (but intriguing) character from Murder House and placing her in an apocalyptic fairytale in a museum of the occult with a ticking clock counting down...
After her cultural memoir “Death and the Spectral Perils of Real-Estate” is universally panned, occult specialist Billie Dean Howard's (Sarah Paulson) takes a job as psychic correspondent ofoccult TV station Spirit A’s (think a televised pay-per-view Weekly World News, only with less credibility). Her first assignment is an investigative piece on V.A. Museum of the Occult in Tennessee, allegedly home to some of the most dangerous supernatural artifacts in existence. But the station has an ulterior motive for sending Billie Dean in. And Billie Dean, a woman who has spent a lifetime staring into the abyss is about to learn that the end is nigh.
Potential episode titles: Billie Dean’s Gloomy Sunday, Sick Fairy, The Woods are Lovely, Dark and Deep.
What about entertainment terrorism: lowbrow popular culture tied directly to the American justice system in a Clockwork Orange-style alternate present. What could be scarier than a trial by the blood-crazed couch potato? Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror episode “Fifteen Million Merits” had a similar high-concept premise: in a near-future reality TV show, contestants sang their hearts out to escape a life of hard labor. What if America’s criminal underclass had only two options: the death penalty or their consciousness transferred into a blank slate, a perfectly symmetrical synthetic human with altered intelligence and talents. Imagine if, in a parallel world, Jeffrey Dahmer had been given this opportunity and his mind was housed in a Justin Bieber-type pop star! The horror! But would the idea provide enough material for the writers to stretch over a season arc? If nothing else it could be an allegory for people under intense public scrutiny and the development of dangerous entitlement complexes. Scratch that; that is no allegory!
The Blank Slate Program is entering its first year and launches a new reality show that is corporate-funded by Synthesis. ICON will work as both a “fight complacency hour” for the audience, and a way of re-establishing that important connection with your moral compass while entertaining the entire family. In ICON contestants will battle it out to purge themselves of their guilt in front of the viewing public with the lucky winner relieved of their memories – because guilt and fear are the ultimate burdens - and entering The Blank Slate Program. On the judging panel for our inaugural year are: Jessica Lange, Madonna and Brian Molko.
Potential episode titles: The Scare Factor, Audience Participation, Blank Slate Tutorial...
The show has always displaced time and space while shifting character viewpoints and storylines effortlessly. So what about a meta, multi-world approach to revisionist horror, a collection of Tales from the Crypt/Twilight Zone style anthology episodes featuring time-travel, doppelgangers with archetypal monsters, and other assorted ghouls? A storytelling device which would enable the creators to step into an homage of any era of horror film history, with each episode part of a larger season arc. Dicey or doable?
In 1950s Los Angeles, avid horror-film fan, aspiring magazine editor and “Monster Kid” Evan Beaumont is offered a "behind-the-scenes" first look at the filming of a new horror-themed soap opera called American Horror Stories, a show that will hopefully re-launch the career of actress Abigail Roth and save the failing studio that is backing the production. Before Evan can say “Lights, camera, action,” he finds himself stranded in different parts of horror film history with torch-bearing villagers, fiends and monsters in pursuit and only a strange, lonely monster as his tour guide...
Potential episode titles: Showtime, Monster Kid, Development Hell...
I’ve had my eye on the career of actress and burgeoning scream queen Jamie Bernadette since we met on the set of the upcoming film Axeman at Cutter’s Creek back in 2012, so it’s little surprise that my curiosity was piqued by the drop of the trailer for Mile Marker Seven, the latest horror feature she’s headlining. Bad things seem to happen in the forest, and she sat down with us to give us the 411.
Written and directed by first-time feature filmmakers Anthony Scarpulla and Anthony Torrez and produced by Petter Anderson, Matthew Helderman and Luke Dylan Taylor, Mile Marker Seven follows (according to the synopsis) the character of "David (actor Wil Daniels), an independent oil contractor, on the brink of semi-retirement, is brought the opportunity of a lifetime by his friend and former business partner, Barry. Everything is going just as they wished, but what they don't realize is, while they are hunting oil, someone - or something - is hunting them."
Joining Daniels and Bernadette in the rural mayhem are actors Theresa June-Tao (Battle of Los Angeles), Jesse Bernstein (Death Tunnel), Shawn Law and Clayton Hoff, along with veterans Eric Roberts and John Henry Richardson.
“I thought the script was very intriguing, stated the engaging and down-to-earth Bernadette of what drew her to the project. "It kept me guessing all the way through. I also liked the foundation of the story: a group of oil men and an oil woman going out into unknown territory to sniff out land that they believe has rich oil deposits."
The Illinois transplant stated that principal photography, which took place last June in Eureka, California, was "magical." "Shooting there, surrounded by the enormous redwoods and sequoias, it did actually have an eerie quality to it. I felt so swallowed by those woods and the air carries an unnerving, cold chill.”
As for her character Christine, the wife of an oil man, Bernadette told us “She used to be a nurse but no longer needs to work due to her husband's success, so she is now a homemaker. She is very sweet, helpful, and an absolute caretaker. She was a joy to get to know and to be.”
As for what genre fans can expect, Bernadette said “Even though I was in it and I of course knew the story, it still held me in suspense! It was then that I fully realized what a great film we have on our hands, because a film that is able to keep an audience guessing, and that entices the viewer to participate in the story to try to figure the mystery out, is a gem of a movie.” Mile Marker Seven is now complete, with distribution right around the corner.
As for what’s next on her plate, “I am acting in a super secret fan film in New York in March with director Letia Clouston, who directed me in the horror feature I produced called The 6th Friend, with (actress) Dominique Swain,” offered the actress. “Later in the year, I am filming in a horror feature called The Demoniacs in Italy by director Brian Feeney (The Echo Game), which stars Jessica Morris (Haunting of the Innocent), and I also have plans to produce two other feature films in the near future, both horror.”
For more info on Mile Marker Seven, head over to their Facebook page.
As we collectively hold our breath in anticipation of the bad-assery that will more than likely be Gareth Edward's feature film Godzilla on May 16, today Yahoo! Movies has given us our first look at the titular monster in this newly released poster.
Commenting on the artwork, the site posits that, "easily twice as big as its tallest building, the Transamerica Pyramid — and, as that skyscraper stands at 48 floors, that makes Godzilla himself about 100 stories high."
I'd like to set things straight here (having visited the Vancouver set last year, I know exactly how tall this forthcoming iteration of 'The Big G' will be), though as I'm under embargo at present, 'mum' is the word. I will say though that in this writer's estimation, Godzilla fans aren't going to be let-down by his stature (like American's appetites, the radioactive lizard has been 'super-sized' since the 1954 Toho original), nor will they be by the film's stellar cast, which includes Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Johnson, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn and Ken Watanabe, among others.
For more on Godzilla, visit the M.U.T.O. Research website.
Nancy O. Greene started writing at the age of nine. Her short story collection, Portraits in the Dark, received a brief mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007. Other works have appeared or will appear in ChiZine; Lovecraft eZine; Cemetery Dance; Tales of Blood and Roses; Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror; Shroud Publishing's The Terror at Miskatonic Falls; Dark Recesses; Flames Rising; Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore! and others. She has a BA in Cinematic Arts (Critical Studies) and a minor in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Southern California, and is a former Fellow of Film Independent's Project: Involve.
Tom Holland, the madman behind horror classics like Child's Play and Fright Night, brought his brand of terror to FEARNET last year with the web series Twisted Tales. Now you can enjoy the series on your giant TV when the series comes to DVD on March 18th. All nine Tales are included, along with behind-the-scenes featurettes for selected episodes.
Twisted Tales is an anthology that deals with the horrors of vampires, werewolves, drugs, technology... and pizza guys. All nine episodes were directed by Tom Holland, and stars William Forsythe (The Devil’s Rejects, Boardwalk Empire), Danielle Harris (Rob Zombie’s Halloween), Ray Wise (Reaper), AJ Bowen (Hatchet 2), Sarah Butler (I Spit on Your Grave) - just a few of the horror all-stars you will find in these Tales.
The second annual CineMayhem Film Festival returns to Los Angeles with a new location and a retro feel.
Celebrating the legacy of independent film, this year's CineMayhem will screen horror classics The Fog (with John Carpenter in attendance!), 1986's Vamp, and a special Hellraiser celebration, that includes a screening of the Clive Barker classic, as well as original Clive Barker artwork on display. Each night of the festival will also include screenings of short films, contests, and giveaways.
CineMayhem runs March 28th-30th at Jumpcut Cafe in Studio City. All screenings are free. Keep up to date with screening schedule, ticketing info, and special guests at CineMayhemFilmFest.com
Del Howison is a journalist, writer and Bram Stoker Award-winning editor. He is also the co-founder and owner of Dark Delicacies, “The Home of Horror,” in Burbank, CA. He can be reached at Del@darkdel.com.