Viscera Cleanup Detail is a free PC game that casts as a space station janitor mopping up after a hero who left the station encrusted with gore. Via Gamers With Jobs' podcast on 'mundane games'. It's actually the third game about a space janitor, after Space Quest and Space Station 13.
Spooktacular is a blog dedicated to preserving the history of the Horror Host, old and new.
A month after its release, Naughty Dog's sweeping interactive epic The Last of Us is being hailed as one of the best games of all time, with perfect scores even from notoriously demanding critics. Inspired by an eerily beautiful segment from the BBC's Planet Earth, the game portrays an America twenty years after a pandemic of the zombiefying Cordyceps fungus (previously), leaving behind lush wastelands of elegant decay teeming with monsters and beset by vicious bandits, a brutal military, and the revolutionary Fireflies. Into this bleak vision of desperate violence journey Joel, a gruffly stoic Texan with a painful past, and his ward Ellie, a precocious teenager who may hold the key to mankind's future. Boasting tense, immersive gameplay, compelling performances from a diverse cast, a movingly minimalist score from Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla, and an array of influences from Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, it's already being slotted alongside BioShock Infinite and Half-Life 2 as one of modern gaming's crowning achievements. And while it's hard to disentangle plot from action, you don't have to buy a PS3 to experience it -- YouTube offers many filmic edits of the game, including this three-hour version of all relevant passages. And don't miss the 84-minute documentary exploring every facet of its production. [more inside]
Sean Demory’s short story The Ballad of the Wayfaring Stranger and the Dead Man’s Whore is built round the mythology and atmosphere of classic American murder ballads like Knoxville Girl and In the Pines. It spooked the bejaysus out of me, and may do the same for you…
The Moon is Rolling in Her Grave is a video adaptation of the first chapter of the ongoing (since 2003) comic series "No Rest For The Wicked" by Andrea L. Peterson, a fantasy / adventure / horror tale that takes traditional fairytales and turns them on their heads: "Ms. Peterson uses, in conjunction with several more popular fables, folktales that you may have never even heard of. The entire plot actually centers around a little known Grimm fairytale called 'The Buried Moon', while also making reference to 'Red Riding Hood', 'Hansel & Gretel', 'The Girl Without Hands', 'The Boy Who Went Forth and Learned What Fear Was', and many MANY others." [more inside]
It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend. From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London (set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings") to the frenzied chaos of its climax, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count). And while sequel 28 Weeks Later with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences in modern horror), and 28 Months looks increasingly unlikely, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
"If Shirley Jackson’s intent was to symbolize into complete mystification, and at the same time be gratuitously disagreeable, she certainly succeeded" - The New Yorker takes a look at the over 300 letters in reaction to The Lottery
"I think a major change in zombie behavior in this was if something were to bite you, well, you're still fresh, you're still able to move quickly. But now you don't think about yourself. You only think about where's my next bite, where's my next takedown. And you will run as fast as you can because you're still healthy, and you'll lead with your teeth to take the next human down..." says Scott Farrar, visual effects supervisor of World War Z, on the fast moving and swarming zombies in the movie. [more inside]
Mr. Sardonicus is a horror film produced and directed by William Castle. It tells the story of Sardonicus, a man whose face becomes frozen in a horrifying grin while robbing his father's grave to obtain a winning lottery ticket. Castle cited the film in his memoir as one of his favorites to produce, and, with his reputation as the "king of gimmicks" to market his films, built the marketing for the film around the idea of the two possible endings.
Inseminoid Academic criticism of Inseminoid has concentrated on the film's treatment of the female sex and female sexualities in the context of corruption by an alien source. In addition to its depiction of the abject Sandy, who is rendered a distorted Other in the aftermath of her unnatural impregnation, the film has been seen to incorporate a clash between the patriarchal and the maternal towards its climax, as the would-be-mother eliminates her former friends one by one. [more inside]
When it comes to unappealing couples that have been featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Arch Hall Jr. and Marilyn Manning are near the top of the heap. Their appearance in Eegah provided rich fodder for Joel and the bots. And yet, only one year after the release of Eegah, Hall and Manning would find themselves together again in radically different roles. [more inside]
Cosas Feas (Nasty Stuff) is a short, gooey Lovecraftian coming-of-age comedy by Mexican director Isaac Ezban. Its recomended for fans of Stuart Gordon and anyone who had an awkward childhood.
William Prince's short Click is very simple little horror film about a bunch of kids, an abandoned building, and a light switch that you'd better watch before it gets dark. The short was a finalist in Popcorn Horror's Blood Games short film competition. You can view the other five finalists here.
We Have Such Films To Show You - Damned souls cortex and griphus have been condemned to the infernal torment of watching all 10 Hellraiser movies, and wish to share their explorations of the further realms of experience with you in their new podcast. [via mefi projects]
‘I am a phantasmagoric maximalist. I like things to be overwhelmingly strange and capacitous. I want what I write to live; it isn’t about something, it is something’— Michael Cisco. [more inside]
Last year, a free indie horror game called Slender, previously, based on the Slender Man meme (previously), became moderately famous for being terrifying despite its simplicity. Now, its creator has teamed up with the writers behind Marble Hornets video series (previously, previouslier) to create the sequel. Slender: The Arrival is available for PC and Mac for $10, and promises a much bigger and more varied environment with better and scarier graphics, and an actual storyline that will take an average player "a few hours" to complete. There's a teaser trailer showing off the moody new environments.
Down to a Sunless Sea - a new short story by Neil Gaiman published by The Guardian as part of their series of Water stories.
About a week ago a series of tweets began to appear promoting a new TEDx conference taking place with all the normal social media bluster and back-patting - but was it? The event's isolated location should've set off warning bells (previously) when the tweets from "TedxSummerisle" because increasingly worrisome as the conference tumblr began posting videos with titles like "Our Friends the Bees, and Nanotech" and "The Secret Science of the Ancients". (via)
The Cramps ripped it up, madly channeling the sordid specters of rock 'n roll's past while staying true to its psychedelic future, even when voxman Lux Interior was a lean 59 years old. The first show from their last-ever tour does nothing but prove it. [more inside]
RIP British horror writer James Herbert, author of the modern classic of the genre The Rats among many others. [more inside]
"It was John Polidori's misfortune to be comic without having a sense of humor, to wish to be a great writer but to be a terrible one, to be unusually bright but surrounded for one summer by people who were titanically brighter, and to have just enough of an awareness of all of this to make him perpetually uneasy. Also, he couldn't jump."
Canadian cartoonist and animator Michael Deforge has been furiously productive over the past few years, producing a seemingly endless series of minicomics, four issues of his increasingly influential one-man anthology series Lose, short pieces for magazines, concert posters, and dozens of one-off illustrations, blog posts and anthology contributions. His comics are a queasy mix of body horror (reminiscent of his countryman David Cronenberg), creeping anxiety, and surprisingly sharp humor. [more inside]
If Doom and Nethack lived in Estonia and had a baby, it'd be named Teleglitch, a recently released pixelated action roguelike that will completely murder you if you're not very careful about how you explore its procedurally-generated corridors, fighting off former coworkers, crafting spare parts into new stuff and hunting for ammo and food and clues as to what the hell went so terribly wrong at the Militech R&D facility on Medusa 1-C. The game has a 4-level demo (Windows and Linux, Mac too apparently) which will probably kick your ass plenty all by itself. [more inside]
The 80s horror film genre called, and then you got a beep and turn-based squad tactics video games were on the other line, and it was a pretty confusing phone call basically but in the end you got the message that someone wanted Camp Keepalive back. Because it is awesome. And it runs on Windows and OSX and you should download the demo right now. [more inside]
Mamá. The sphincter-tightening short film by Andres Muschietti that inspired the movie of the same name, with an introduction by producer Guillermo del Toro.
UndeadTeds [NSFW?] is a tumblr featuring one-of-a-kind zombie teddy-bears of a graphic bent. Not for the faint of heart.
The Snipist - a post-apocalyptic nightmare set in a post-rabies Britain (warning: absolutely bleak). A Gun For George - a short film about crime-writer Terry Finch, author of the 70s Kentish fiction masterpieces The Reprisalizer. [more inside]
Brattleboro Days, Yuggoth Nights: an interview with H. P. Lovecraft on a single postcard.
An Unknown Alien Being acquires a child's forgotten book and mistakenly believes that it depicts proper protocol for interaction with the human world.
The book is a collection of Peanuts comics.
The book is a collection of Peanuts comics.
Woodsnoopy 45 stares into your open heart. Her yellow head squirms and pukes up feathers.MASTABA SNOOPY
It makes you uncomfortable when she looks at you. She makes a demand.
Her demands come often and always create uncomfortably simultaneous feelings of resentment and obedience.
That is the territory of the Lucy faction. They are the ones who gather nickels. Woodsnoopy 45 is overstepping her boundaries.
Being a mere Woodsnoopy 799, however, you can do naught but obey."
Seven For A Secret - an anonymous fanfic author creates seven unhappy ( or at least, unconventional ) endings for Disney Princesses by placing them in proper historical, mythological, or thematic context.
"I have thrown a terrarium of land crabs on the floor at a party in a drunken rage, I have known regret. "
Actor and writer James Urbaniak (Venture Brothers, American Splendor) has a wry, occasionally upsetting "fictional podcast" with every episode written by a new author. Getting On With James Urbaniak.
Between Peter Jackson’s penchant for cartoonish unserious gore and Bob McCarron’s off-screen makeup effects manipulations, Braindead achieves something that approaches inspired genius in the heretofore unknown artform of human carnage. The film is filled with moments of joyous slapstick tableaux... And then there is that moment where Braindead finally breaks through to achieve a transcendentally surreal glory of excess where Tim Balme wades into battle against the zombies armed with a lawnmower, drenching an entire room in showers of blood. (Braindead holds the record for the greatest amount of artificial blood ever used in a film). The film is a work of perverse genius. - Richard Scheib
Horror movies aren't just for Halloween: Silent Night, Bloody Night, Black Christmas, To All A Good Night, Christmas Evil (starring Fiona Apple's dad as a homicidal Santa), Gremlins (in which Phoebe Cates learns there is no Santa Claus), Silent Night, Deadly Night (which inspired Parts 2, 3, 4, and 5 despite--or perhaps because of--denunciations by Siskel & Ebert and parents' groups), Elves, and Jack Frost
From their archives, Mary Shelley writes about the origins of Frankenstein.
... [Thomas] Ligotti's stories tend to have a profound emotional impact. His vision is exceedingly dark, and it is possible for his stories to infect the reader with a mild-to-severe case of depression. It is even possible for them to effect a change in the reader's self-perception and view of the universe. This warning is not meant to be sensationalistic, nor is it meant to turn new readers away. It is simply a statement of fact based upon the experiences of actual readers. Ligotti writes about the darkest of themes with an amazing power, and he means what he says. Often his stories seem to communicate a message below their surface, a sort of subliminal statement that should not rightly be able to traverse the barrier of verbal language. - Matt Cardin (previously) [more inside]
Return of the Living Dead (NSFW) is one of the greatest zombie movies ever made. Not only does it have loads of great looking zombies in it, it's one of the few zombie movies, besides its sequel, that has a perfect blend of humor and horror.
Hellblazer, the DC/Vertigo comic starring Alan Moore created occult investigator John Constantine, is being cancelled at issue #300 to make way for a new comic set in DC's New 52 universe. Hellblazer was DC's longest running continuously numbered comic and it's cancelation marks the last of the DC Comics characters with Vertigo titles being taken back into the mainstream DC universe (previously). Vertigo was originally an imprint for mature readers occult themed titles and creator owned work, though it has changed over the years with an adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo becoming the first Vertigo to receive TV advertising.
Broodhollow is a new webcomic that has been pithily described by its creator as “Tintin goes to Innsmouth.” It’s a bit of Lovecraftian horror with subtly detailed artwork. Be sure to check out long-running companion website Ichor Falls, a “…short fiction site for the discerning horror/terror enthusiast." Great starting points include curious little thing and candle cove (previously). [more inside]
"We worked very much like a comedy troupe — you sit around at a writer’s table and say, 'Who has the best idea?' It’s like campfire stories, you just try to freak each other out." An interview with Drew Daywalt, short-form horror pioneer behind Fewdio (previously) and now Daywalt Fear Factory. [more inside]
Hammer House of Horror was a 1980 British anthology television series produced by the eponymous film studio. It was followed by Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense and there were a couple of other notable, similar themed, series around at the time, Beasts and West Country Tales. They might now seem a little crude and simplistic, but they employed an interesting array of writers, directors and actors and the best can still raise a definite chill [more inside]
Nightfall was a popular and controversial horror and sci-fi series that aired on CBC Radio between 1980 and 1983. [more inside]
Neil Gaiman reads a story that scared people. A new Neil Gaiman story is available from Audible. It's free, and every copy downloaded means a donation to DonorsChoose or BookTrust. (Neil does ask that you wait to listen to it until after dark.)
The 55 Scariest Scenes from Fantasy/SF/Horror movies by the jewel-in-the-crown-of-Gawker io9 features many clips guaranteed to freak you out. Along the same lines, and also from io9, is an excellent list of ten novels that are scarier than horror movies.
In the spirit of Halloween and scary movies: a remix of Mr. Sandman set to a supercut of some of the spookiest scenes from horror cinema: Full-On Lovemaking. Warning, NSFW. Further warnings for the squeamish below the jump. [more inside]
Robert Aickman wrote some of the best ghost stories of the last fifty years. He also edited one of the finest genre anthology series of his time: The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories. Between 1964 and 1972, he curated eight volumes of horror fiction without repeating an author, favoring always the subtle, the psychological, the poetic, the rare, the neglected. 59 of his selections can be found online. [more inside]
Scary stories for Halloween Guardian books writers select their favourite seasonal chillers