Comics writer Benito Cereno gives his now traditional guide to "good, notable, or at least interesting horror and horror-adjacent movies available to stream on Netflix" in October *, the spookiest of months. [more inside]
1979 film Phantasm has been a bit of a cult masterpiece [original trailer] for nearly 40 years. JJ Abrams is a fan and has collaborated with the writer/director Don Coscarelli to do a 4K remaster of the film. It will appear in theaters and VOD in theaters on Oct 7, along with apparently the 5th and final film in the series, Phantasm: Ravager, written by Coscarelli. [more inside]
The Library of Congress needs some help IDing film stills from their collection: LOC's National Audio-Visual Conservation Center recently started posting mystery images from their collection for followers to help identify via their Now See Hear! blog. This week's entry focuses on 20th c. horror and suspense movies. [more inside]
Thanks to Sci-Fi and Horror fiction podcasts are finally a thing. or perhaps they've been a thing for a bit longer than that.
It's the middle of the night in tropical Costa Rica, and you're wandering in the forest. Suddenly, you hear a sound like a jaguar having a really difficult bowel movement. But no! Actually it's a bird that looks like Jim Henson was asked to design a stoned alien. [more inside]
The end of WTF D&D's epic saga of 90's music stars and cosmic horrors has finally begun, half a year after that post (which contains links to the entire story so far). Zack and Steve's zany game logs from the interim: Death Star plans on Naboo (1, 2), Dark Heresy: The Lost Dog Detectives (1, 2), a redneck WWE wrestler, a 90's Marvel character trapped in the Cinematic Universe (1, 2) and a Ghostbusters franchise in North Dakota (1, 2). As evidenced by the site's archives, much pointing and laughing at sourcebooks did indeed also ensue.
Season six of American Horror Story premieres in the US on September 14th. Unlike previous seasons of the anthology, however, FX is keeping this season's theme under wraps, teasing the audience with no fewer than 19 promos, each depicting a different potential show (which themselves reference different horror movies.) [more inside]
One Third of Parents Avoid Reading Children Scary Stories, Study Finds [The Guardian] “A survey of 1,003 UK parents by online bookseller The Book People found that 33% would steer clear of books for their children containing frightening characters. Asked about the fictional creations they found scariest as children, a fifth of parents cited the Wicked Witch of the West from L Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with the Child Catcher from Ian Fleming’s Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang in second place. Third was the Big Bad Wolf, in his grandmother-swallowing Little Red Riding Hood incarnation, fourth the Grand High Witch from Roald Dahl’s The Witches, and fifth Cruella de Vil, from Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians.”
Cookie Jar, a short story by Stephen King
In 1909, Julian Hawthorne (Nathaniel H.'s dashing, reckless son) released a wildly eclectic anthology called The Lock and Key Library: ten shotgun blast volumes of mystery, detection, horror, suspense, crime, decadence, and romance, comprised of stories, novel excerpts, folktales, and memoirs gathered from Russia, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Japan, China, Tibet, Iran, the Ottoman Empire, India, Arabia, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Germany, France, England, Ireland and the United States. [more inside]
In 1998, cult horror author Thomas Ligotti and coworker Brandon Trenz wrote a script for an episode of The X-Files which draws more on Ligotti's style and sentiment than on Kolchalk and flying saucers. The episode, "Crampton", was never produced, but the text is online.
Luckily for my sanity, Annabelle did not do anything scary while I was in her presence, though I did see a moth flutter by her case at one point, and later, while listening to a recording of the interview, I heard a horrible growl on the tape that was probably my stomach but let's be real, was a demon. I also kept seeing my own movements reflected in the glass and thinking she was coming for me. Being inside the museum also left a musty smell in my hair that I didn't notice until later, when I was back at home watching Curb Your Enthusiasm — maybe not coincidentally, the one about the doll.
From the dreadful art work created for Nosferatu in 1922 till the present, horror movie posters has evolved with time, immensely. Having celebrated the twisted, the sick, the ghastly, the disgusting and the terrifying, this genre of art is highly evocative. It may be just another creepy photograph conveying malicious promises, or an abstract interpretations rendered by an elaborate painting, designers are experimenting with their creative juices from time immemorial to bring out the ghastly effect in their posters.
Back in 2013, we saw Sadako from The Ring throw out the first pitch at a baseball game in Japan. Then earlier this year, we saw the trailer for the upcoming The Ring/The Grudge crossover movie, Sadako vs. Kayako. You can see where this is going: Sadako throws out first pitch against Kayako at Japanese baseball game. (Via.)
Lotta Losten and David F. Sandberg make movies about visitors in their apartment. You may remember Lotta from Lights Out, now a trilogy with Cam Closer and Pictured. [more inside]
(Content warning for pretty much the whole post: Body horror, bright flashes, and disturbing imagery abound.) Kitty Horrorshow (Itch, Twitter) is an independent game developer making fascinating, horrifying things. Minimalist horror games that go bold directions and are deeply uncomfortable experiences. Her biggest game by far, though, is ANATOMY, a game in which you explore a dark house, seeking out cassette tapes and studying the "physiology of domestic architecture". [more inside]
One of the most infamously bad NES licensed games ever released, Friday the 13th is known for its obtuseness and difficulty. Still, there's many who see an interesting design buried beneath Pack-In Software's incompetence, even inspiring an action figure based on its odd Jason Voorhees sprite, and it's for those people that YouTube filmmakers TripleZeroFilms created a 50-page, full-color, illustrated strategy guide (with its own trailer video!) for this unpolished gem in the extremely rough. [more inside]
Twittering from the Circus of the Dead A short story from Joe Hill, from the May 2016 edition of Nightmare Magazine.
Reddit user _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9 is leaving long comments on various seemingly unrelated threads that link together into a very horrifying secret history of LSD, WWII, and the end of the world. [more inside]
Corpseburg lays a zombie survival skin over Google Maps. Punch in an address to create a map. Scavenge local schools, businesses and hospitals for food, weapons, meds and barricade materials.
Watership Down: Parents left 'horrified' as Channel 5 airs 'traumatic' film on Easter Sunday [more inside]
Children of the Stones (previously) is the revolutionary 1977 British children's television drama telling the story of an astrophysicist and his son who arrive in the village of Milbury to study the giant Neolithic stones which surround it, and the community which is held in a strange captivity by the psychic forces generated by the stones. For BBC Radio, writer and comedian Stewart Lee explores the ground breaking television series and examines its special place in the memories of those children who watched it on its initial transmission in a state of excitement and terror. [more inside]
After many months, Something Awful (and now also The Bad Guys Win) comedy/insanity writer Zack Parsons (previously) has finally confirmed the long-promised finale of his and Steve Sumner's series of Call of Cthulhu 1990's Handbook campaigns starring Kurt Cobain, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Eazy-E as they battle forces beyond human ken: the custom module Hard Ticket to Baghdad. (He also eventually finished the Tooth Tooth series because word is bond, god.) Beneath the fold: the entire story so far, including the recent 'solo project' campaigns. [more inside]
We are the killers. We stink of death. We carry it with us. It sticks to us like frost. We cannot tear it away. [...]
The Aztecs in the shock of the conquest, of utter destruction, tried to regain their speech, and they tried to describe simple things. A cave. A cave is a place of darkness. It is full of fear. It is dark, yes, very dark. And fear looms there. And do we dare to enter? Because the cave is big and it is dark.A 70-minute conversation with Werner Herzog, loosely structured by one of his favorite books, J. A. Baker's The Peregrine. [more inside]
An aspiring documentary filmmaker records the post-college struggles of her best friend...sorta. (SLYT)
Stephen King On What Hollywood Owes Authors When Their Books Become Films: Question & Answer by Mike Fleming Jr. [Deadline] [more inside]
The Ordeal of Randolph Carter - not quite an adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's The Statement of Randolph Carter By Chris Lackey and Greig Johnson.
Kittens star in far superior remakes of classic horror films.
"Yes indeed, it appears as though that long-talked-about sequel to the secretive Abrams-produced 2008 film Cloverfield is not only happening, it’s already in the can." [more inside]
Four years ago, Lee Hardcastle remade John Carpenter's The Thing in a two minute short, featuring flightless birds made of Plasticine. After that he was “legally advised not to make any more claymations involving penguins and gore,” but he didn't stop making bloody, disgusting, humorous shorts. He remade that short with clay cats, and has made a number of new pieces over the years, including a horror story about toilets that won a place among an international cast of horror directors in a horror anthology. He has posted a number of additional shorts on YouTube, which he has also sorted into playlists for convenient browsing.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is not your average vampire flick. For one, it features a who's who of Iranian actors (all speaking Persian), with various bits of the [Inland/]Southern California landscape serving as stand-ins for Iran. Plus, there's the stripped-down storytelling and the fusion of styles. It's been billed as the first "Iranian vampire Western."Join director Ana Lily Amirpour for Q&A on Iranian vampires and weird SoCal towns and learn more about her feminist horror film that turns horror film (and every day) tropes on their heads. [more inside]
The Science of Life and Death in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein [The Public Domain Review] Professor Sharon Ruston surveys the scientific background to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, considering contemporary investigations into resuscitation, galvanism, and the possibility of states between life and death.
Heather Lindsley's "Werewolf Loves Mermaid," Sunil Patel's "The Merger," and Emil Ostrovski's "Tragic Business" develop humorous situations from SF/F motifs: cryptid romance, intergalactic business negotiations, and the cycle of death and rebirth, respectively. Lincoln Michel's "Dark Air" combines common weird fiction / horror situations with a very dry, very dark sense of humor. Naomi Kritzer's "So Much Cooking" is a serious SF story about a grave possibility, but it brings the matter home via a witty parody of a cooking blog.
"The underground bad place is always in the present, whether literally or in memory, and it is always about the past." Bernadette Lynn Bosky on underground and secret spaces in Peter Straub’s fiction.
Released in 1971, 666 is the third and final Aphrodite's Child album, a two record concept concerning the biblical Apocalypse. The singer (now deceased) went on to become this guy. The keyboard maestro went on to become this guy. But the album itself remains one of the creepiest, strangest, best examples of so-called progressive rock ever released. And that [infinity] track featuring Irene Papas on vocals -- that's genuinely terrifying in the right/wrong situation.
The Stone Tape is a television play, first broadcast on the BBC as a Christmas ghost story back in 1972. It was written by Nigel Kneale, best known as the writer of Quatermass. BBC radio is broadcasting a new adaptation tonight (along with an adaptation of The Ring)
Jezebel ran a Scary Story contest this year, here's the wonderful (though sometimes badly edited) results. Need more? Then check out last year's winners, especially the one titled "Look at Me".
Facebook, funeral homes and the feeding of our lives as we fade away. A horror story by Andrew F. Sullivan for Hazlitt.
The girl in the closet. The doomed nurse. The cave creature. Just a few of the best jump cuts in horror movie history.
"These are books that should get the essence of Halloween going and give people a sure scare!" Goodreads' list of 536 books to get your fright on.
Between 1973 and 1983, Vincent Price starred in twenty-two episodes of radio horror for the BBC. Price claimed the stories were drawn from his own reminiscences, though certain plots bear strong resemblances to classic pieces by Roald Dahl and Bram Stoker. Click on and listen, if you can afford...THE PRICE OF FEAR. [more inside]
The streaming service Shout Factory has a treat in time for Halloween: The VHS Vault!. These are VHS rips of classic 80s horror movies: Sleepaway Camp, Night of the Demons, Day of the Dead, Class of 1984, and Exterminators of the year 3,000. There's also the documentary Adjust Your Tracking about VHS collectors.
Zack Parsons, Something Awful's resident writer of much weirdness (oldest articles in that listing may be misattributed) has resumed his beloved series with Steve Sumner (the Max to his Sam), WTF D&D. While Zack still writes for Something Awful, he and Steve's reviews of weird pen-and-paper RPG sourcebooks and art, and their rollicking RPG campaigns, have resumed on Zack's new site, The Bad Guys Win, which also features other new articles from Zack (all of the new WTF D&D, currently a two-part adventure in the Ravenloft setting starring Steve as an idiot monk, is collected under Games). [more inside]
Half-heard whispers. A creaking door. A missed step. From Vertigo to Videodrome, the scariest movies exploit our greatest – and most basic – fears. Fear Itself - BBC Documentary (SLYT NSFW)