You've tuned back into Radio FLTR, where we're digging up more hits from the past and doin' a monster song with ya on this beautiful November night. Here's that young dreamboat with the wacky expressions, Bobby Pickett doing the Monster Mash back in 1964 on American Bandstand, two years after his hit was first released, when he first cashed in on two hits at once - songs about dancing and monster mania. Bobby "Boris" Pickett didn't rest on those laurels in '62, but swiftly came back with a whole album of monster songs that same year .... [more inside]
"I never would have believed it, until one night I woke up around three o'clock in the morning. I felt something cold against my shoulder. It was the ceiling. I was looking down at my own body." Julianne Moore and other actors ask you to think about "the paranormal, one of the biggest issues of our age" in this ad for Time-Life Mysteries of the Unknown series of books. Curious about unexplained phenomenon? Tales of events, dismissed as chance, coincidence, or imagination, but what if they aren't? How could you explain it? How did these ads (if not the books) get so popular? Fittingly enough, it may have just been fated in the stars. [more inside]
As a tenth-anniversary surprise, Stephenie Meyer released a genderswapped version of Twilight this morning, in which Bella and Edward are replaced by Beau and Edyth. EW calls it a Twilight Surprise. Cleolinda (of Movies in 15 Minutes fame) is doing a read-along on Twitter under the hashtag #sparkletime.
A new study investigates the experiences of self-identified vampires in disclosing their identity to helping professionals. The study seeks to understand the experiences and concerns of people self-identifying as vampires who are faced with the choice of disclosing their identity to professionals such as social workers and counselors when seeking help for various issues. The actual journal article in Critical Social Work can be found here.
Inspired by the recent release of What We Do In The Shadows, the staff over at The Dissolve take a look at one of the more unusual movie sub-genres: Vampire comedies.
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 fasciitis) 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. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of
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.
"When True Blood premiered on HBO almost six years ago, in 2008, the final Twilight book had just been published, breaking records left and right. The gleam's come off since then, off vampires in general and but especially this show, but I believe it still has some things to tell us. Things about philosophy, America, the existence of faith in a secular world. People fucking all kinds of different ways. Sometimes all of these topics at the same time." Jacob Clifton recaps and reviews the Six and a half seasons of True Blood so far, trying to suss out what we can learn from Sookie Stackhouse's many boyfriends.
Meghan McCarron interviews Kelly Link for Gigantic magazine. They talk about The Vampire Diaries, fanfic, patterns in stories and the craving for distortion, among other topics. Great news for Link fans: she has a new short story collection, Get in Trouble, coming out in 2015 and is working on a novel!
For your October delight: Top 10 horror movies, as picked by Guardian critics, Ten Exceptionally Well-Written Horror Films, Top Ten Horror-Sci-Fi Films: A Primer And Pseudo-History, The 12 Weirdest Vampire Movies Ever Made, The Top Grossing Scary Movies Of All-Time, and, perhaps most importantly of all: The 25 best horror films on netflix instant.
Monstergeddon is an annual, one-night tournament of monsters competing in various categories -- Best Kill, Most Unnecessary Collateral Damage, Sexiest Victim -- with the top prize being the coveted Killer Cup. The objective of the tournament is killing humans.
Articles at ABC, Huffpost, Vulture, The Atlantic Wire, The New Inquiry all claim that mermaids are the next big thing in popular culture. Among other signs, some authors point to the fact that Netflix's has acquired first-run rights to show the Australian show Mako Mermaids in several markets. At Slate, however, Forrest Wickman disagrees stating, "I can give you one simple reason that mermaids aren’t the new vampires, and never will be: genitals. If you want people to fantasize about you, or about being you, genitals are pretty much a requirement."
Stuff You Should Know: The Animated Series is an animated version of bits from the very popular Stuff You Should Know podcast, with Josh and Chuck. Thus far, topics include:
The Digestive System
How to Start a Country
Lilith and Vampire Myths
How Fear Works
The Digestive System
How to Start a Country
Lilith and Vampire Myths
How Fear Works
"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."
Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, a podcast in which writer and game designer Robin D. Laws (Hamlet's Hitpoints, The GUMSHOE system) and game designer and writer Kenneth Hite (Tour De Lovecraft, GURPS Horror) (previously) talk about stuff. Stuffs include: Why vampires are assholes and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, stopping WWI and Beasts of the Southern Wild, Margaret Atwood and the difference between a mystic and an occultist, why no invented setting is as interesting as the real world and Woodrow Wilson, Gencon and sundry RPGs, Neil Armstrong, HP Blavatsky and theosophy, the ebook prcing settlement, what big publishing could learn from RPG publishers, and the many crazy fictional possibilities of Charles Lindbergh and his UFO investigating chums, and Dungeons and Dragons edition wars and Aliester Crowley.
Ever heard of the Jewett City Vampires? Sure, you know about Salem and its witches, but New Englanders also went through several vampire panics that come far closer to the present than any Salem shenanigans. But who were the real people behind the modern legends? One common thread in the American myths: Tuberculosis (PDF).
Vampires in Havana (YT, 1:09:58, Spanish with English subtitles, also available on Netflix streaming) is an animated film by Cuban director Juan Padron about the battle between European and American vampires for control of Vampisol, a formula which allows vampires to go out in the sun.
At no point in Bela Lugosi's iconic role in the 1931 film Dracula does he make the sound "Bleh!" So why is "Bleh!" so deeply associated with Dracula in popular culture? Followup with more examples.
Jeff Atwood, co-founder of StackOverflow/StackExchange (previously) is also fairly well known for blogging about programming and human factors. Today he wrote a post about Parenthood.
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.
Let's find as many suckers as we can as fast as we can, because we'll only make more money as more and more shit hits the fan.
The People vs. Goldman Sachs. Matt Taibbi's latest magnum opus (previous coverage) lays out the full case for federal prosecutions against the Vampire Squid according to Sen. Carl Levin's Senate Subcommittee on Investigations. [Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse 650 page pdf].
Edward and Bella disemboweld. Style purists are pretty tedious, but so can be Bella's conversation. [more inside]
Guillermo del Toro talks about vampires, movies, Lovecraft, adaptations, fairytales and art.
Stephen King's Intro to 'American Vampire': ''Salem's Lot'' author lets loose with some pretty strong opinions about how you do bloodsuckers right in short essay for the first volume of the upcoming DC Comics title -- read it here first! "Here's what vampires shouldn't be: pallid detectives who drink Bloody Marys and work only at night; lovelorn southern gentlemen; anorexic teenage girls; boy-toys with big dewy eyes," writes Stephen King in the introduction to his move into original comic book writing, American Vampire. "What should they be? Killers, honey. Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty Type-A. Bad boys and girls. Hunters. In other words, Midnight America. Red, white and blue, accent on the red. Those vamps got hijacked by a lot of soft-focus romance."
The human body is made up of more bacteria cells than human cells. Now, researchers at Harvard have isolated the genes responsible for producing amino acids that can block ultraviolet light and managed get E. coli bacteria to produce them too. Can I interest you in some sunblocking bacteria living on your skin?
The annual Orbit books survey of Fantasy cover art: Fantasy Art, The Changing Fashion of Urban Fantasy Heroines, Color trends in Dragons, Title Trends and Fonts.
Summer's here, which means a new season of everyone's favorite slashfic-friendly show, True Blood. But this season doesn't only bring us Louisianan vampires, it also includes a very special message from Snoop Dogg, who proves that he's no slouch at imagining new erotic developments for the characters.
Simulated U.S. Government Agency Responses to Vampire-Americans "Every spring, [the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce] runs a policy simulation designed to illustrate the difficulty of operating an organization in the context of asymmetric and limited information. Every fall, I run a two hour mini-simulation designed to give students a sense of how the larger simulation will play out. ... Since vampires seem to be in the news lately, this year I chose a vampire oriented scenario."
Chris Sims of the Invincible Super-Blog has tangled with the undead before, most notably with The Annotated Anita Blake, but now he's taking on the big daddy with the cape and the fangs: It's Dracula Week! Over on Comics Alliance Chris lists Dracula's Greatest Comics Appearances, then back on ISB he's followed up with Batman versus Dracula and Dracula versus Superman. Now he's taking on Dracula in his ultimate, most 70s form. Behold... BLACULA!
Vampires are over, argues Neil Gaiman. (Via the Guardian, who rather oddly suggest the similarly over-exposed zombies as a replacement)
The Legend Of The 7 Golden Vampires combined the tail end of Hammer film's Dracula series with, the then, burgeoning martial arts craze to create "The First Kung Fu Horror Spectacular!" [more inside]
STEVE NILES is one of the writers responsible for bringing horror comics back to prominence, and was recently named by Fangoria magazine as one of it's "13 rising talents who promise to keep us terrified for the next 25 years." Niles, a horror/comic writer, is responsible for 30 Days of Night. Although, the idea originally was unsuccessful as a film pitch he turned it into a breakout mini-series comic. Did you know there was a prequel released, before the movie, online: 30 Days of Night: Blood Trails (Hulu)? AND a sequel: 30 Days of Night: Dust to Dust (Hulu)? [more inside]
"A classical vampire story in many ways, though it possesses none of the opulence or hedonism that are such a mainstay of vampire mythology," says one critic of the Swedish film Let the Right One In, based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist. In a lengthy interview the author gave recently, he says: "I wanted to approach my subject completely seriously and absolutely reject all sort of ”romanticized” notions about vampires, or what we’ve seen earlier of vampires, and just concentrate on the question: If a child was stuck forever like, in a 12-year-old existence and had to walk around killing other people and drink their blood to live – what would that child’s existance really be like?" (Props to Bageena) [more inside]
What Girls Want - A series of vampire novels illuminates the complexities of female adolescent desire. (via) [more inside]
LDS Sparkledammerung IS HERE! The crypto-mormonism of Stephanie Myers' Twilight series. (Spoilers, image heavy, extreme derisiveness)
Animal magnetism, or testiment to the stupidity of the male species. Rachel Marsden, the right-wing pundit better known in Canada for a series of scandals in her personal life, has apparently had a messy breakup with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Marsden is currently selling off Wales' belongings on Ebay. [more inside]
"The Great God Pan," by Arthur Machen. "The Beckoning Fair One," by Oliver Onions. "Green Tea," by J. Sheridan LeFanu. "The Boarded Window," by Ambrose Bierce. "The Horla," by Guy de Maupassant.
Cinema Fiction vs. Physics Reality (PDF -- HTML version without addendum here) Two physicists examine certain features of popular myths regarding ghosts, vampires, and zombies as they appear in film and folklore. See also Real Zombies (audio) on the science of zombiefication. Also of interest are Psychological significance of Immortal beings (audio) and Blood Fighting: Dawn of the Robots and Zombies (video), which delve into the prominence of vampires, zombies and other things that go bump in the night in popular culture. Not to your liking? Well, check out some classic (and some not-so-classic) horror tales inside. [more inside]
Stories of Bram Stoker to enjoy on the 110th anniversary of the publication of Dracula.
Peter Watts on Vampire Domestication (embedded Flash video, must click to start). The mythical corporation FizerPharm ("Trust. Profit. Deniability.") share their detailed research into the evolution and possible commercial applications of Homo sapiens whedonum. You will learn: How and why the "crucifix glitch" came about. Why you should run from a blushing vampire. How many kilograms of human are needed to make one kilogram of vampire. How vampires resemble two year old humans, domestic shorthaired cats, and lungfish. And why "survival of the fittest" should be reconceptualized as "survival of the least inadequate". [more inside]
Elizabeth Báthory is hot. I'd do her. The thing is she holds the world record (according to GWR) for being the most prolific serial killer in history. Supposedly, she may have tortured and killed as many as 2000 young girls, which probably makes her bi or lesbian (not that there's anything wrong with that). Some say she is the real inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Sharkey's wife/friend may not be able to do her job anymore. You remember Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey, the undead, bloodsucking candidate for Minnesota governor, don't you? Julie Carpenter's association with her husband/friend and Wicca affiliation makes her unsuited to drive the school bus, according to the Princeton Schools Superintendent. [by]
Voters in the US state of Minnesota may find a self-proclaimed vampire on the ballot for the office this year when Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey of the Vampyres, Witches and Pagans Party announces his plan to run for Governor, expected later today. Acknowledging that "politics is a cut-throat business", Sharkey has let voters know that whilst he is a Satanist, he dosen't hate Jesus, "just God, the Father."
Vampz - amusing animated movie about undead hijinks. [quicktime, 31mb / smaller version (15mb) / larger version (56mb)]
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