Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Podcast, Episode 11 - Possession Movies

This week we discuss 'Treevenge', just in time for the holidays. We also touch on a few movies featuring possession as a major theme, including: Fallen, Idle Hands, and Night of the Demons. Lastly, there's a bit of chatter about the merits of Fred Savage.

Below is the Treevenge short film. Followed by Angela's dance in Night of The Demons.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vintage Comics: Monster, Issue #1: Traitor's House, The Secret Files of Dr. Drew (Pg. 15 - End )

I've got to admit, the first story featured today from the Monster issue kind of makes me want to do a short film from the perspective of the house. It was a very simple way to pack a lot of story into a couple of pages...and as I mentioned in the last selection from this issue, the artists here really know how to use color to make the pages pop. I also can't help but wonder if Dr. Drew was part of the inspiration behind Kolchak...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Horror Flick of the Week: All The Colors of the Dark

Also known as 'Tutti I Colori Del Buio' and the title on the Spanish poster, this Spanish-Italian giallo doesn't stand out too terribly from the rest, but it's an experience anyway.

I find most Italian films, mainly the older ones, are far more of an experience than a cohesive and concise story. They're very much about the appearance, the mood, the feel of a movie...rather than the actual plot. I think Fulci and Fellini movies are a perfect example of this, case in point being 'House by the Cemetery', which in itself merits being featured at some point.

All the Colors of the Dark is no different. It is the experience, not the story, which stands out. The main character as I see it is the perfect example of a vulnerable female character depicted in most Giallo, manipulated by the world around her. The main thing that stands out is that she starts off a bit unhinged, and is basically put in the worst situations for any person with a severe mental illness. I imagine the director, Sergio Martino, must have been a big fan of 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane'...and to illustrate that point, they've even got a Bette Davis lookalike in the trippy opening sequence.

I won't say this is the greatest Giallo film in history, because it really isn't. But it's certainly worth checking out. But as with most American cuts of any classic Italian horror, there are a couple of different versions. I'd advise watching the one with the opening dream sequence. And a warning before you consider watching the trailer, there is a bit of nipple at one point.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Podcast, Episode 10 - After the Party and Halloweentown

Tid bits and pieces of conversations about the after-Halloween stories Julianne and Chris have to share, along with a couple of favorite recipes, a discussion of Halloweentown, and an awful lot of off-topic rambling.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Horror Kickstarter: Squib

As an aspiring filmmaker, I'm always on the lookout for awesome-looking Kickstarter projects related to horror. This week, I stumbled upon a small project with an intriguing plot: independent filmmakers trying to make a low budget slasher film end up 'cutting corners' to get their movie made. But let the director tell you about it.

As you know, the best bit about Kickstarter is that there are usually some pretty awesome gifts offered to anybody contributing to the project. Squib is no exception, and I encourage anybody who has a bit of extra cash and the desire to see independent filmmaking thrive to maybe swing by the kickstarter page for Squib and toss in a couple bucks.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Podcast, Episode 9 - Asian Movies Remade

In this episode, Maddy introduces Jazlaan to the podcast. Together they discuss a few Hollywood remakes of some modern Asian horror films, including 'The Ring, The Grudge, Dark Water, The Eye, and The Uninvited'. They've got good things and bad things to say about these movies, and plenty of chatter in-between.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Podcast, Ep. 8: Happy Halloween!

Joyous day of days, the time of year is upon us when the dead return from the graves to get drunk and eat candy. Yes, my friends. It is finally Halloween, and with Halloween (of course) comes the latest Hallowholics Anonymous podcast. This one was a doozy to get made, and unfortunately Julianne and Chris were unavailable this week. But where there's a will, Maddy got her mom to join her for this special episode dedicated to the perfect Halloween marathon. A selection of 5 films to watch this Halloween, the topic of the marathon being campy classics. We also have a special introduction and conclusion with another future co-host, Jazlaan. So sit back, relax, and listen until your heart gives out. There are also some wig care and costume tips.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trick or Treat Safely

Tomorrow not only marks my grandmother's birthday, but also that wonderful time of the year celebrating all that is horrific and spooky. Yes, my friends, tomorrow is finally...Halloween. It's also a Friday, which could mean much more traffic and safety issues for those of you with little ones Trick -or-Treating. So the following list has been composed from CDC advice and a few other sources (as well as personal experience) so what should be a fun night doesn't turn bad.

1. If you aren't walking your children door-to-door, try to at least keep them safely in sight from your vehicle or otherwise.

2. Bring the kids in before it gets too dark. If you decide it's still safe to continue the candy crusade when the sun goes down, at least make sure there are proper reflectors on both costume and goody bucket. Bright orange and glow-in-the dark tape can be useful for this. Fridays are drinking days, and if you combine that with one of the biggest party nights of the year, you can't be too cautious.

3. A flashlight can be both fun for a child, and serve as an extra way for them to make drivers aware of their presence when crossing the street.

4. If possible, pick a well-lit neighborhood for Trick-or-Treating. These places are usually much safer.

5. Remind your kids that if they don't know the person handing out their candy, they should stay safely outside on the doorstep or porch.

6. Make sure costumes aren't too baggy or loose.

7. Don't drink and drive. Don't ever do this, no matter what night it is. Even if you don't have kids or family, it's very selfish to endanger the lives of others just so you can have a buzz on the way home.

8. Most residential areas in the US require a max speed of 30 MPH when driving through them. On Halloween, be careful to drive slower. There is usually much higher pedestrian traffic, and kids can be unpredictable about their own safety crossing the street.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Horror Flick of the Week: Fido (2006)

When this movie first came out in '06, I saw plenty of people talking about it all over the net. 2 years after Shaun of the Dead, it seemed like there was finally going to be a new renaissance of horror comedy. There really wasn't much of one, but that is an entirely different topic for another day. Fido kind of fell to the wayside after a bit, though, in the shadow of Shaun.

But you want to know something? It shouldn't have. It's really a great little film, worth it's own merit. The only thing it shares in common with the more famous zombie comedy is the fact that it IS a zombie comedy, and they run with the idea of having the creatures as pets after we've managed to 'tame them'.

Imagine if the 50s wasn't about the fear of communism or nuclear war, but zombies. You pretty much have Fido, but there's really more to it. The main character, Fido, has more behind the facade of a drooling and brain-crazy slave to his nuclear family. Billy Connolly is...incredible in this. I honestly didn't even realize he was Billy Connolly at first, without the eccentric beard and long hair. Everyone is really amazing in this movie. I can't express enough how great Fido is, as a horror comedy fan. If you take your horror too seriously, avoid it. IF you have a sense of humor, I'd definitely suggest 'Fido' for a Halloween viewing this year.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Playlist 2014

Digging in the digital closet for a few tunes to liven up an otherwise dead party? Well, don't worry. The 2014 playlist is finally ready, with 13 tracks old and new. Spooky and fun enough to get the bones rattling.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book(s) of the Week: Ghost Mansion

Another little novel I found floating around at a library book sale, this story was an enjoyable read. Perhaps enjoyable isn't the right word. It was a disturbing spiral leading the reader witness to an unstoppable descent into death and madness. So that's why it's the book of the week.

The especially intriguing part is how the 'ghosts' in this book are approached. Unique. Disturbing. Unlike anything I have personally read before, and shouldn't think would be allowed on the modern theatrical screen (no matter how modern it gets.) I won't go into any extra details about these gruesome specters, but suffice it to say I'd rather encounter Pezuzu on a bender before I stepped foot into this house. No matter how pretty the interiors are.

This is a book for a couple of quiet and lonely evenings with nothing but a small lamp (or perhaps candle) to illuminate the words. It's a good thing, too, because you're got 5 days until Halloween to go grab this little gem from an obscure backwoods book store.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vintage Comics: Monster, Issue #1: The Monster, The Mirror (Cover - Pg. 14)

Don't let the Burt Reynolds-esque Hulk on the cover deceive you. The monster in this comic looks nothing like that. In this first comic, I didn't have so much fun with the actual story as just admiring the style. I love the heavy shadows and expressions the artist employs with all of the characters in this comic. The second story was equally impressive with it's own flare of style and femme fatales. I honestly just wish the second one could have been a bit longer and the first a bit shorter.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Good Kitty

While I prepare for the podcast today, here's some pictures of Peter Lorre and Vincent Price with cats.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Fear: Hemophobia (fear of blood)

This is an odd one, though certainly not as odd as anatadaephobia (fear of being watched by a duck) or something along those lines. Hemophobia is strange, because it isn't usually single. This means people with the fear of blood are usually afraid of something else, like needles or other various pointy things.

Now if you break it down, hemophobia becomes a perfectly reasonable condition. Most often when a person is first introduced to the sight of blood in childhood, it is their own. I suppose this can cause one to associate blood with pain...and it can kind of just get worse from there. This is when it is purely psychological, of course, which hemophobia usually isn't.

When a person is exposed to the sight of blood, the body's reaction is to generally have a small drop in blood pressure. This is instinctual. Because when blood pressure drops, one is less likely to bleed or clot as much if injured. If your blood pressure drops TOO much, you faint. Sooooo...since fainting is usually pretty inconvenient, it can at times be another cause for hemophobia.

Most phobias are treated by desensitization. Hemophobia is too, but...it's also treated in another very unique way. Training one's body to raise their blood pressure, either through tensing muscles or engaging in vigorous activity.

So now that you've read a little bit about hemophobia, here's a short video from a personal favorite show of mine, to ease you into...some kind of...pun using the word vein. I'm not always on my A game here, folks. Much less my B or O game either...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bad Omens and Superstitions on Halloween

I think we all know Halloween is a pretty dangerous night, so to protect the wiser amongst you from evil spirits...I have the following suggestions.

Disclaimer: I do not actually believe in any of this. Take it with a grain/circle of salt.

- When you are passing a cemetery, be sure to refrain from breathing. If you do, an evil spirit may possess your body.

- Be sure to keep your house surrounded by wind chimes with bells on them. This will ward away demons and ensure that plenty of angels get new sets of wings.

- Evil witches are color conscious...and they also hate jewelry. Combine their fears by wearing a blue bead on your person so they'll stay away from you.

- Plant ivy around your house to keep even more evil witches away, if the blue bead trick didn't work.

- Wearing a bridal veil will ward off evil spirits and people who place curses on you. I don't think this is gender specific, so if you're a man you might as well wear it too for good measure.

- When a snake crosses your path, it will bring bad luck. Kill it to negate the bad luck. If this is your roommate's pet corn snake, don't worry. They can buy a new one.

- Never throw a dinner party with 13 people unless you plan to stick around. The first person who leaves will die first. I guess it's like the opposite of catching the bouquet at a wedding.

- Don't kill robins, sparrows, ravens, crows, or albatrosses. Robins and sparrows carry the souls of the dead, ravens carry the soul of king Arthur, crows are death incarnate, and if you kill an albatross then you'll be lost at sea and have to recite a really long poem to redeem yourself later.

- People born on Halloween can see/hear evil spirits. This confirms my suspicions about my grandmother.

- If you visit a graveyard with someone and they ask 'where is blankety-blank's grave?' Don't point it out to them, because they're trying to trick you. If you do this, your finger will rot off.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Horror Flick of the Week: Nightbreed (1990)

As Halloween approaches, I'm reminded of a film I watched all the time as a kid. Despite some massive butchering and very confusing cuts as a result, I always had plenty of fun watching all of the weird underground mutant people acting crazy as shit (as they tend to in any Clive Barker story.)

Imagine Hellraiser if the protagonist WANTED to become a Cenobyte, and if there wasn't a puzzle box but instead a weird cult dynamic. That's pretty much Nightbreed in the form that I've seen. Now on the 28th (6 days from now as I'm posting this little feature) Scream Factory is releasing a special Blu-ray/DVD with the cut we're all familiar with AND a director's cut. Apparently that one is incredible, and I personally can not wait to see it. But you've got to admire a movie that somehow manages to be entertaining, even if it loses a massive amount of relevant plot points after a massacre in the cutting room.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Fear: Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)

“For the rest of her life Arachne was to hang from a thread and to be a great weaver and the descendents of Arachne still weave their magic webs all over the earth today. ”   - The Story of Arachne

So goes a classic myth of (arguably) the most disturbing creatures in the world, equally beautiful and deadly. Though, not always. Much like snakes, there are plenty of breeds of harmless spiders. Still, I'm hard-pressed to remember a time I saw a spider in a public setting and the next nearest person didn't break into a shrieking fit before sentencing poor little thing to a squishy death.

As a small child, I dug through my recently deceased great grandfather's things, and in the very back of his closet I found a strange leather container with a black strap. I pulled it out and looked inside, but it was too dark to see what the recesses of the case held. I reached inside and recoiled in pain. A little black spider crawled out over my arm and skittered down to the ground before disappearing back into the closet. But you know what? I still wasn't afraid of spiders. Then again, the bite didn't turn out to be poisonous.

Perhaps it's the way they walk with their many legs, disturbingly fast and far in such short spaces of time. Perhaps it's the invisible silks they weave from over-hanging branches which catch in the hair of innocent passersby. Or even the tendency of the humble spider to select locations that are already pretty creepy...dark places. Disused places...porch swings...They make for sufficiently creepy nightmare bait.

Desensitization seems to be the only real cure for this phobia, which I find a little difficult. How often do people take trips to spider-filled caves and basements? Luckily I found a music video that might help those of you with arachnophobia issues...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Vintage Comics - Beware, Issue. 1: His Brother's Keeper, Wish For the Dead, Keeper of the Ghosts(16 - END)

Our first story in this section of the vintage comic 'Beware' deals with two brothers who have mental telepathy. Man if I had a dime for every time I had to deal with my own brother summoning dark spirits from beyond and possessing his body...