Friday, February 27, 2015

Vintage Comics: Midnight, Issue #2: The Needless Night, Fortune or Fate pt. 2, Forever and Ever (Pg. 14 - End )

Sometimes you read a 'horror story', and you realize it's either the first time that writer ever approached the subject, or perhaps they were attaching the word horror just to gain a larger audience. In finishing this issue, I felt there were some sad moments. A bit of death. And an ironic twist. The first story approaches a semi-Faustian deal that ultimately teaches the bad guy a lesson, but there's no real bite or substance. It's like the writer pulled out halfway through and decided he didn't really want a horrific retribution for the devil's bargain. The second story finishing up Fortune or Fate is pretty much the closest to actual horror the whole comic came to. The last story...well, at least I was taken by surprise. I expected one character to be evil, and he ended up just having a bit of bad luck...

Midnight. Reminding us all that the people responsible for getting horror comics banned back in the mid-20th century...probably hadn't read nearly enough comics.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hieronymous Bosch Picture

Terror and morbidity are no invention of modern times. For as long as man has been able to think, he has been able to fear. Back in the late 15th and early 16th century, Hieronymous Bosch painted some pretty gruesome treats. If ever man has depicted hell on earth, I think Hieronymous did it best. If you'd like to learn more about him, or see more of his grim 'Where's Waldo'-esque scenes, check out this site.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Short Video: The Seamstress

Hello kiddies! Today I decided to feature a short film for you all to enjoy tucked under the covers when the lights go out. This one really hits home for me, seeing as my mom used to be a costumer (and even as a Theatre teacher, often finds herself sewing into the wee hours of the morning so her actors will have pretty clothes onstage.)

After a few short questions with the director, here's what he had to say: "This project only took 2 weeks from getting the idea I was going to make a short, to publication online. That's including coming up with the story, writing, casting, location, props, crew, shooting, editing, then post sound mixing. That's a pretty intense schedule for a no-budget short. I've done 48 hour film festivals before, and this almost as challenging. On those, I only shot. This one, I was a writer, producer, director, editor and shooter. That's a lot of hats to wear! I ended up spending about $300 total on food, props, and sfx make-up. Our actress actually spent 4 hours in makeup for shots of her face and scalp skinned off, and we never even used it! It just didn't fit well in the final edit. The final scene was just much stronger without it!"

This was directed, shot, and edited by Tyler Mann, And if you're an enthusiastic supporter of independent film, or if you enjoyed this one, please go ahead and like it on Youtube.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book(s) Of the Week: Monster Road

Back in the 90s, I was wild for books. I still am, but the point here is that I devoured every book fair that came to school. Especially when it came to book lights and horror stories. Monster Road was one of my favorites. Perhaps it was the cover that drew me to it, or the fact that I'd run out of Goosebumps books, but this one was pretty easy to miss tucked back at the bottom 'L' shelf.

Written by David Lubar, Monster Road tells the story of Kevin taking a road trip with his eccentric scientist Uncle. Eccentric and wildly naive, every single monster Kevin's uncle meets on the trip strikes him as something absolutely mundane and non-supernatural in any way. What's more, he seems to come up with a solution for most of their problems in the process.

My old copy I had of Monster Road sadly fell to pieces, but that's the sign of a well-loved book. At least for a kid. Monster Road is a great little story to read with your kid, or to just let them read on their own, lying in the somewhat sketchy area of 2nd grade - 4th grade reading level.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Horror Flick of the Week: 13 Curses/Trece Campanadas

As I was preparing for our upcoming podcast episode (at long last), I recalled a movie I'd seen last year. Excellent atmosphere, an interesting story arc, and a good example of a movie on my incredibly long Netflix list that I had put off way too long before actually watching it.

13 Curses (Trece Campanadas) is the story of a young man going back to the town he spent his childhood in before a mysterious accident occurred one stormy night claiming the life of his father and the sanity of his mother.

His father was an incredible artist with inclinations towards the more morbid side of sculpting, which in itself is always pretty awesome when you're dealing with vengeful spirit movies. But of course, this is more than that. Much more. Luis Tosar delivers an incredible performance as the ghost and memory of Mateo, the main character's father. This was actually one of my first Luis Tosar films, and it's a great entry into his lexicon.

The Spanish language itself lends itself to incredible horror potential. There's something about the sound, the passion of the words themselves, and I just don't know if 13 Curses would have been nearly as good if it had been of the English fare. An absolutely incredible movie worth a watch on any night.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Drive-in Trailers: Spooky Spooks

At long last, the movie trailers return...from the grave? Not physically, of course. It's only digital media. Speaking of digital media, let's watch trailers about ghosts. If you try to believe hard enough, that segue makes sense.