There's a new crop of Australian bands that take inspiration from old blues, but twist the music in a strange fashion. The trend may have started with CW Stoneking (Jungle Blues, Love Me Or Die), who channeled the old bluesmen despite being a young man. Its continued on to Sydney's Snowdroppers, who started out as a house band for burlesque shows and kept that dirty sensibility up with songs like Rosemary , Do The Stomp, and their signature tune Good Drugs, Bad Women (lyrics NSW). Frequent Snowdroppers touring partners Gay Paris add a Southern horror twist (House Fire In the Origami District, My First Wife? She Was A Foxqueen! ) and an antic stage energy. Some of the bands relay on gimmicks, like Adelaide's The Beards, who sing about how you should consider having sex with a bearded man and point out that if your dad doesn't have a beard, you've got two moms. The Beards recently performed at the World Beard and Mustache Championships. Horror-country-rockers Graveyard Train have picked up the torch dropped when Sydney psychobilly masters Zombie Ghost Train (Graveyard Queen) disbanded. Graveyard Train tunes like Mummy, Ballad for Beelzebub , Tall Shadow and Dead Folk Dance combine cheerful Misfits horror theming with stompy country. Most of the singers from this loose scene are joining forces in Sydney this week to pay tribute to Tom Waits.
Stephen King has confirmed he is working on a sequel to The Shining called Doctor Sleep. He discussed the book and read excerpts at George Mason University. The book features a new grown up Danny Torrance working as a hospital orderly, fighting vampires pirates, and using his powers to bet on horse races (which sounds familiar). Fans of Kubrick's film adaptation (which do not include King) were treated to a tribute in a recent Doctor Who episode that recreated a few rooms and corridors from the Overlook Hotel.
If we've got any surprises for each other, I don't think either one of us is in much shape to... Holy crap! Tentacle attack!
From the start of Bill Lancaster writing the original script to the final edited cut of the film, The Thing underwent some serious changes. A lot of footage ended up littering the cutting room floor. The Collector's Edition DVD gives us a look at some of the Outtakes and Deleted Scenes, but it falls shy of showing us what really was cut. - Deleted Scenes from The Thing and other assorted goodies at Outpost 31.
There is also a prequel of some kind.
There is also a prequel of some kind.
Jason Zinoman, author of the newly-published Shock Value, a study of horror films from the late 1960s/early 1970s, presents a four-part essay in which he diagnoses the ills of the modern horror film and presents a few solutions. (1 2 3 4) [more inside]
Horror Scans: Images from classic horror magazines, lobby cards, ads and pressbooks.
The Human Centipede sequel just too horrible to show, says BBFC. In the sequel, a man becomes erotically obsessed with a DVD copy of the original film – in which the victims are surgically stitched together mouth to anus – and decides to recreate the idea. Director Tom Six responds to news of the ban. Teaser preview. [Descriptions of events in film are NSFW; teaser preview is just silly.]
"Theme from Confusion Range" is the first of several music videos, each shot by a different independent director, for LA desert rock band Spindrift's next album "Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1." Songwriter Kirpatrick Thomas, who takes many of his sonic cues from Ennio Morricone said, "the album is an homage to our love of film scoring and the medium which surrounds it." [more inside]
Kim Newman discusses the novels that inspired Anno Dracula, his epic pop-culture mashup of all things vampire, set in a Victorian London ruled by Dracula. Newman's long fascination with Dracula led to two more novels in the setting and several short stories, several of which can be found online.
Universal Horror: history of the early horror films made by Universal Studios such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, King Kong, The Mummy and many more. Directed by Kevin Brownlow. Narrated by Kenneth Branagh. 1 :: 2 :: 3 :: 4 :: 5 :: 6 :: 7
The dreaded SLYT: Kitten vs an Extremely Horrible Thing
Daughter of Horror (original title: Dementia) was a 1955 avant garde film featuring a noir style, a surrealist sensibility, and virtually no dialogue. A later version of the film even included an over-the-top voice over by none other than Tonight Show sidekick Ed McMahon, but like Blade Runner the flick is better off without the narration. Daughter of Horror is probably most famous for being the film playing in the theater overrun by The Blob. And with a few more surrealistic elements and peculiar dialogue added, this could have been done by David Lynch in a later decade. The film, recently featured on Turner Classic Movies, is available for free on archive.org.
For Sale: One Shunned House. The house at 135 Benefit Street, Providence RI is for sale. This house was the inspiration for H.P. Lovecraft's short story The Shunned House. Even without the Lovecraft connection, the house has an eerie history. It can be yours for $925,000.
Kris Kuksi makes sculptures, paintings, and drawings. A time-lapse of his sculpting process and a walkthrough with details. He has a book and sells his sculptures. His most famous work is perhaps Church Tank. [Previously]
YouTube user deb4tlj has uploaded seven out-of-print titles to YouTube: three silent films starring Lon Chaney -- The Penalty (1920), The Unknown (1927), and Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928); two films starring Bela Lugosi -- Island of Lost Souls (1932) and Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932); and two films starring Boris Karloff -- The Ghoul (1933), and The Walking Dead (1936). [Notes inside] [more inside]
The Ward (Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3) is a silly little Lovecraftian sitcom from the folks who bring us the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast. (previously: 1, 2, 3, 4) The guys Lackey and Fifer are also writing a graphic horror novel set in the Jazz Age, Deadbeats.
Geoff Barrow of Portishead calls "Top Post-Punk Artists as Determined by RYM Ratings" an "amazing musical journey." But that's far from the most interesting list Rate Your Music user Goregirl has created. [more inside]
Stephen King and John Mellencamp will debut their long-awaited Southern gothic musical 'Ghost Brothers Of Darkland County' next year. The story concerns the deaths of three people in Atlanta in 1957 and the CD will have songs by Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Meg Ryan, and Matthew McConaughey. King is also working on the 8th Dark Tower book, 'The Wind Through the Keyhole', which is due next year.
Following the success of The Haunter of The Dark, the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcasts presents two new readings, From Beyond and The Picture in The House, by Andrew Leman and Bruce Green. Both recordings are available "In 3D". Alternatively if you like your Lovecraft with both pictures AND sound, the HP Lovecraft Historical Society version of The Whisperer in Darkness is complete and being shown at worldwide film festivals - it's a talkie! (The HPLHS are now also offering a rather handsome "official membership" pack.) Want something more interactive? Cthulhu Dark offers a complete Lovecraftian tabletop RPG system that fits on two sides of a sheet of paper. Please note: "If you fight any creature you meet, you will die. Thus, in these core rules, there are no combat rules or health levels. Instead, roll to hide or escape."
6 ways to turn Cthulhu into an emoticon. How to pronounce "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" via The Lovecraftsman A contemporary blog about HP Lovecraft, Cthulhu, the Necronomicon, Miskatonic University, Arkham, R'lyeh, The Book of Eibon, Yog-Sothoth, De Vermis Mysteriis, & other unspeakable things...
Canadian horror flick Pontypool (trailer) is a modern zombie tale quite unlike any other. Loosely based on a dense, complicated novel by Tony Burgess and inspired by Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, it tells the story of Grant Mazzy, a grumbling yet likable radio host (played by veteran character actor Stephen McHattie) whose penchant for philosophical ramblings gets him booted from Toronto to the sleepy winter pastures of Pontypool, Ontario. One bleak morning, as the outspoken Mazzy chafes against no-nonsense producer Sydney Briar, disturbing news begins rolling in of a series of bizarre and violent incidents sweeping the town. Trapped in their church basement broadcasting booth, Mazzy, Briar, and intern Laurel-Ann Drummond struggle to understand the odd nature of the crisis and warn the wider world before it's too late. But this is no ordinary virus, and they find their efforts may be causing far more harm than good. You can watch the film on YouTube horror channel Dead By Dawn (1 2 3 4 5 6 7), but if you're pressed for time you can also experience it in its more logical form: as a one-hour BBC radio drama voiced by the original cast. And after the credits, make sure not to miss the film's playful non-sequitur coda.
Drag Me To Hell As Remembered By Bunny and Coco Armed with the actual props and actual locations and actual stand-ins, Mefi's own Max Sparber (Astro Zombie) recreates Sam Raimi's spook-machine Drag Me To Hell from memory. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
"Let's do those drive-in totals. We have: Nineteen dead bodies (plus fragments). Ten breasts (shame on you, TNT censors). Two zombie breasts. One-hundred twenty-five zombies. Mummy dogs. One-half zombie dog. Ten gallons blood. Brain-eating. Gratuitous embalming. Zombie fu. Nekkid punk-rocker fondue. Gratuitous midget zombie. Torso S&M. One motor vehicle chase (totalled by zombies). Pool cue fu. No aardvarking. Heads roll. Brains roll. Arms roll. Hands roll. Joe Bob says, Check It Out." Only on MonsterVision. [more inside]
Show The Monster : "Guillermo del Toro’s quest to get amazing creatures onscreen." Video: Monsters in the Making. (Via)
Cold Reading - A rationalist ghost story by Alan Moore.
Well, the Poe toaster didn't show for the second year in a row (previously). Fear not, here's a lovely and disturbing animated short film of The Tell-Tale Heart from 1953, narrated by James Mason. Although nominated for an Academy Award, the UPA production was apparently the first cartoon to be rated X by the British Board of Film Censors.
"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown - A 90 minute documentary on HP Lovecraft with contributions by Neil Gaiman, John Carpenter and Guillermo Del Toro.
Ghastly ghouls in flaming color! Mutant spores! Sizzling suns! - a selection of classic horror movie posters.
Richard Matheson—Storyteller - To mark the publication of a book of tribute stories writer and editor Richard Bradley has been blogging about the author's 60 year writing career- covering I Am Legend, Duel, and The Incredible Shrinking Man, not to mention Somewhere in Time (full index here). Of course Matheson is probably most famous for his contributions to the Twilight Zone, being one of it's three major writers and scripting Nightmare at 20,000 feet. Twice.
For many years the BBC had a tradition of showing a dramatisation of a classic ghost story at Christmas. This tradition is being continued this year with Whistle and I'll Come to You being shown tonight staring John Hurt. An adaptation of the same classic MR James story was shown in 1968 staring Michael Hordern beginning the tradition (1, 2, 3). [more inside]
Murderbullets, 102 pages of power armour, guns, mega-scale rapidly mutating biological horror, cancer sticks, tanks and general comics mahem by James Stokoe.
Meet the bastard lovechild of Zork, Choose Your Own Adventure, Silent Hill, and World of Warcraft: You awaken in Razor Hill. [more inside]
Two commercial directors make a fake trailer for an 'Eli Roth' film called Clown. The actual Eli Roth finds out about it... and he likes it so much he is now producing an actual film version.
A few weeks ago, we attempted to shoot a short film. But when we got the footage back, there was clearly something very wrong.
A fine way to remove unwanted hair is to wrench it violently from your scalp. To facilitate this, try reading Dell Hell (Part 2), in which a sad soul descends into madness at the virtual hands of Dell's customer service. It's a companion piece to a 2005 series of Dell Hell deranged scribblings.
In September, Jon Schindehette [previously] and Lars Grant-West [wiki] issued a challenge to students at the Rhode Island School of Design: "Create a creature based upon a non-humanoid critter from H.P. Lovecraft's literature. The creature should have a fully resolved form, convey motion where appropriate, and be believable. Creature can be shown as either 3/4 view or 'turn-arounds'." Here are the entries and here are the judges' comments. [more inside]
An Open Letter to Mark Gatiss A personal reaction to the horror aficionado's recent series. (Watch here on iPlayer.) [more inside]
It was 1931. Subtitles weren't practical, dubbing had yet to catch on, but Universal Studios wanted their lavish new production of Dracula to play in Latin America. The solution? Shoot a separate film in Spanish on the night shift. [more inside]
Broadcast on Halloween night 1992 Ghostwatch - a live investigation into a haunted house - was one of the most controversial and terrifying programs the BBC has ever shown. [more inside]
Nearly three decades ago, folklorist Alvin Schwartz published Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the first of three horror anthologies that would go on to become the single most challenged book series of the 1990s. But most of the backlash was against not the stories themselves (which were fairly tame), but rather the illustrations of artist Stephen Gammell. His bizarre, grotesque, nightmarish black-and-white inkscapes suffused every page with an eerie, unsettling menace. Sadly, the series has since been re-issued with new illustrations by Brett Helquist, of A Series of Unfortunate Events fame. Luckily for fans of Gammell's dark vision, copies of the old artwork abound online, including in these three image galleries: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones. Interested in revisiting the stories themselves? Then don't miss the virtual re-enactments of YouTube user MoonRaven09, or the dramatic readings of fellow YouTuber daMeatHook.