, a blog "trying to delve into the secrets of the making of Movie Monsters," presents Subterranean Terror
, an in depth look at the creature effects of the greatest Precambrian sandworm horror-comedy franchise of all time
. [more inside]
R.I.P., the Vincent Price of podcasts
Lawrence Santoro (old but useful site
), writer, director, and actor, passed this July. But he might be best known for his work as a podcaster, most notably through his Tales to Terrify
. [more inside]
In 2004 Joseph Kahn
directed the hyper-kinetic, poorly reviewed motorcycle action movie Torque
. It was Kahn's directorial debut, and though he was tapped for (one of many
) failed Neuromancer adaptations, he devoted the next six years to a largely self financed project: the horror-comedy farce Detention
. Noted cultural critic Steven Shaviro discusses in this essay
why Detention, despite also being reviewed negatively
, is one of his favorite movies of the decade. Shaviro's review contains major spoilers for the plot, and it's probably best to go into the movie blind. A brief non-spoiler synopsis is available below the jump. [more inside]
You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts
is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials
, heartbreaking eulogies
, and agonizing run-ins with fascists
) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting
science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed
2006 novel Blindsight [full text]
-- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room
, the Philosophical Zombie
, Chernoff faces
, and the myriad quirks and blind spots
that haunt the human mind.
's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew
, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism
), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section
, tomorrow will see the release of
Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website]
, the long-delayed
"sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
Things That Don't Suck
, Some Notes on The Stand
I recently reread The Stand for no particular reason other than I felt like it. I'm honestly not sure how many time[s] I've read it at this point, more than three, less than a half dozen (though I can clearly remember my first visit to that horrifyingly stripped bare world as I can remember the first reading of all the truly great King stories). It's not my favorite of King's work, but it is arguably his most richly and completely imagined. It truly is the American Lord of The Rings, with the concerns of England (Pastorialism vs. Industrialism, Germany's tendency to try and blow it up every thirty years or so) replaced by those of America (Religion, the omnipresent struggle between our liberal and libertarian ideals, our fear of and dependence on the military, racial and gender tension) and given harrowing size.
I'm happy to say that The Stand holds up well past the bounds of nostalgia and revisiting the world and these characters was as pleasurable as ever. But you can't step in the same river twice, even when you're revisiting a favorite book. Even if the river hasn't changed you have. This isn't meant as any kind of comprehensive essay on The Stand. Just a couple of things I noticed upon dipping my toes in the river this time.
[Spoiler alert: assume everything, from the link above to those below, contains SPOILERS.] [more inside]
Director, writer, and producer Mick Garris releases videos
of his interviews with people in the horror and sci-fi entertainment industry at his new website, Mick Garris Interviews
. There is also a YouTube channel
. An introduction can be found at the about page
. According to The Nerdist
, interviews will be released at the rate of one per week. Interviews already uploaded: a four-parter with Director John Carpenter (here's Part 1
YT), and one segment with John Badham
, director of Dracula
(1979) and, incidentally, Saturday Night Fever
Jason Blum—producer of Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister, The Purge, The Bay, and Oculus—participated in an interesting interview at SXSW Film 2014
about his model of producing high-quality low-budget horror films
for wide release. The video is almost an hour long, but worth watching if you're interested in contemporary mainstream horror.
The gals at Anglo-Filles have an entertaining (and epicly long) talk about the history of Dracula and vampires as characters and symbols throughout the ages and throughout fiction
- topics discussed include Varney The Vampire, The Vienna Vampire Scare, Where Does Sunlight Killing Vampires Come From, The Secret Spanish Dracula, and Jonathan Harker As An Abuse Survivor.
Metafilter favorite David Cronenberg (previously
) has lately been making short films for festival exhibition. Most are aggressively simple, with only a few actors and even fewer locations. But they're all unmistakably Cronenberg films. [more inside]
today finished a top 50 countdown of short SF/fantasy podcast fiction: 50-41
. The Parsec Awards
for SF podcasts honor many other stories annually, as well as related non-fiction, comedy, and music: 2014 nominees
; and 2006
. And since 2012, the Hugo Award nominees for Best Fancast
have been two-time winner SF Squeecast!
, plus The Coode Street Podcast
, Galactic Suburbia
, SF Signal
, The Skiffy and Fanty Show
, Tea and Jeopardy
, and The Writer and The Critic
with the popular Writing Excuses
podcast often appearing in another category. [more inside]
"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
was the first real “slasher” film, and it changed many things—the ratings code of the Motion Picture Association of America, the national debate on violence, the Texas Film Commission, the horror genre—but it remained a curiously isolated phenomenon. The film itself, involving five young people on a twisted drive through the country, is a strange, shifting experience—early audiences were horrified; later audiences laughed; newcomers to the movie were inevitably stricken with a vaguely uneasy feeling, as though the movie might have actually been made by a maniac—but the story behind the film is even stranger." We begin with a couple of stolen barbecue chicken wings....
In a world
On May 30th the 15th Annual Golden Trailer Awards
were handed out in Beverly Hills, CA. There are a total of 75 categories; the 17 top awards were handed out live at the sold-out show and are linked below the fold. [more inside]
"Looking back on it, one of the things that's crazy is I don't think I even realized that first of all, Joe Flaherty is supposed to be a vampire but he's howling like a werewolf. [laughs] I just took that for granted, and it must've been years until I saw it and was like "Wait a minute, that's a joke!" Furthermore, Count Floyd's always wearing a turtleneck which is the least vampire thing ever."
"Splitsider kicks off its new column, Sketch Anatomy, with television writer Bill Oakley breaking down SCTV’s "Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes"
). Oww owww oowoooooo!!!
is a short horror film about a British commando raid that finds an ancient evil in the crypts and tunnels of occupied France. It recently won Best Short Film prize at the 2014 H P Lovecraft film festival
, and is available to watch on Vimeo—for today only—if you go here
and use the password 'mayday'.
EC Comics and MAD Magazine cartoonist/editor died on tuesday at age 88.
Al Feldstein's covers
and artwork for EC Comics
great Sci-Fi/Horror books are legendary
. Sadly, his singular
style was phased out after a few years of classic work at EC in favor of the more modern, detailed artists in the stable as he took on more editorial and writing duties. He went on to turn a post Kurtzman MAD Magazine
into a phenomenon as its editor.
Vinyl Terror and Horror
uses physically altered vinyl records and many turntables to produce an eerie soundscape.
Late in 2013, Guillermo del Toro released a voluminous book, entitled Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions. As he explains in the video, the 256-page hardcover is a selection from his notebooks, where the director developed many of the monstrosities we’ve seen on screen. The Guardian notes that there’s something of da Vinci’s notebooks in del Toro’s records: the small, neat script, mixed in with the wonderfully detailed sketches, combine to give the impression of del Toro doing his best to record the torrent of his imagination before the thoughts disappear. In this post, we include a number of these images. Previously [more inside]
is often called "the Polish Poe" or "the Polish Lovecraft," which are both useful for short-hand, but don't quite capture Grabiński's style. As suggested by China Miéville in the Guardian
, "where Poe's horror is agonised, a kind of extended shriek, Grabinski's is cerebral, investigative. His protagonists are tortured and aghast, but not because they suffer at the caprice of Lovecraftian blind idiot gods: Grabinski's universe is strange and its principles are perhaps not those we expect, but they are principles - rules - and it is in their exploration that the mystery lies.
" If you haven't heard of Grabiński, it is probably because only a few of his works
have recently been translated to English. The primary translator is Miroslaw Lipinski
, who runs a site dedicated to Grabiński
. You can read Lipinksi's translation of Strabismus
(PDF linked inside), and The Wandering Train
online. [more inside]
"The cinema was made for horror movies. No other kind of film offers that same mysterious anticipation as you head into a dark auditorium. No other makes such powerful use of sound and image. The cinema is where we come to share a collective dream and horror films are the most dreamlike of all, perhaps because they engage with our nightmares.
" And so Mark Gatiss
opens his three-part series, A History of Horror
. "One of the great virtues of this series is that it is thoroughly subjective. Gatiss does not feel any particular obligation to give us an A to Z of horror, but instead lingers lovingly over his own favourites,
" taking the viewer with him from the Golden Age of Hollywood horror through the American horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s. [more inside]
with world-renowned Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi on Lovecraft, atheism, weird tales, and cosmicism.
Need some vaguely disturbing furniture
? William Robins, aka Elmer Presslee
has your back. Visit his drive through exhibition
My family lived on the southern edge of a certain Midwestern industrial city in an old house, old enough that its basement still had a dirt floor
I was not yet old enough to openly question a parent's behavior, but certainly old enough to recognize its oddness, when my father began digging
"In Advanced Readings in D&D
, Tor.com writers Tim Callahan and Mordicai Knode take a look at Gary Gygax’s favorite authors
and reread one per week, in an effort to explore the origins of Dungeons & Dragons and see which of these sometimes-famous, sometimes-obscure authors are worth rereading today." [more inside]
BBC Radio 4's 'The Film Programme' talks to George A Romero.
'Forty five years after the release of genre-defining Night of the Living Dead, Francine Stock talks to the director George A Romero about inventing the undead zombie and where he might unearth horror in contemporary society. Plus why he doesn't rate Stanley Kubrick as a horror director.' [SL BBC Radio 4 episode] [more inside]
In celebration of Halloween, The Dissolve
has devoted three long posts to The Shining
: a keynote
examining the film and King's relationship to it, a staff discussion,
and a critical comparison
of the film with the 1997 TV miniseries
written by King. (Scrubbed the show from your brain? Let this episode of Nostalgia Critic
refresh your memory.)
is a horror film from 1981, starring Edward Woodward as the father of a family possessed by some sort of malevolent entity. Although it has (probably quite rightly) been largely forgotten, it does have a really fantastic opening scene
. [more inside]
was a series of interviews with horror writers and directors and other icons. Several of them are on youtube: Clive Barker
; Wes Craven
Harlan Ellison (1
); Richard Laymon
; Richard Matheson
; Julie Strain
Out of Skin
, a new horror comic from Emily Carroll
). Warning: gore & body horror.
Mid-19th C. terrors, ca. 1840-1865
: short fiction selected for the occasion by Miriam Burstein, a.k.a. The Little Professor
, an expert on 19th C. British literature (especially including "lost" but formerly popular religious novels
). [more inside]
Wes Anderson's The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders
Last night Ed Norton hosted Saturday Night Live, and this short film trailer parody was the standout. [more inside]
Looking to freshen up that old October playlist? Allow me to recommend Halloween Booootie
, three free, full-length compilations (2009, 2010 and 2012) of bootlegs and mashups all perfectly themed for your next graveyard smash.
But do you want some more?
Are you looking for, dare I say, the real wicked shit?
Then please, step this way... [more inside]