Thursday, December 29, 2011

Two fantastic websites

The above images (a chart of Michael Meyers kills, a Muppet version of the Sistine Chapel's "Creation of Adam" ceiling fresco, and "Aliens vs. Predator Babies") are from an excellent website I just discovered called Popped Culture, which specializes in clever crossover-fusion imagery collected from various sources. I warn you that it's possible to spend hours browsing this site (as is the case with all the best stuff on the web). While I'm ruining your productivity I'd also like to recommend Retronaut ("The past is a foreign country. This is your passport.") which is a wonderful, poignant repository of obscure images from previous decades and centuries (like these 1940s technical cutaway drawings).

Bonus geek cheesecake (from Popped Culture):

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New 'Hobbit' Production Diary Shows Off Locations, That Peter Jackson Got Fat Again

[via iwatchstuff]

Sinead O’Connor is getting divorced after less than a month: predictable?

From celebitchy, Poor Sinead O’Connor. She went off her bipolar meds (really she did and she admitted it, I’m not just saying that) and then went trolling on the Internet for a good lay. Once she found one that stuck around for more than a couple of weeks, she married the dude in Vegas and invited the paps. Sinead got married on her 45th birthday to a 38 year-old “addiction counselor” she’d known less than two months. The happy couple made it official at the Little White Wedding Chapel, arriving in a convertible pink Cadillac. The bride wore a strapless pink dress, and the groom a suit with a pink dress shirt. Their happiness is a distant memory now, as Barry and Sinead split up, probably around the holidays. She made the announcement on her website in a long letter that I found pretty interesting. Like she anticipated what people would say and she explained herself without going into too many details. Sinead and Barry didn’t even live together for a week.

Read Sinead's crazy ramblings here

Mystery of incident that inspired 'The Birds' solved?

From usatoday, Whodunit? A final mystery surrounding the work of film legend Alfred Hitchcock— what triggered the crazed bird flocks that helped inspire his 1963 thriller The Birds— appears solved by scientists.

Dying and disoriented seabirds rammed themselves into homes across California's Monterey Bay in the summer of 1961, sparking a long-standing mystery about the cause among marine biologists. The avian incidents sparked local visitor Hitchcock's interest, along with a story about spooky bird behavior by British writer Daphne du Maurier.

"I am pretty convinced that the birds were poisoned," says ocean environmentalist Sibel Bargu of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She led a team finding that naturally occurring toxins appear to have been the culprit.

Read the rest here

Cheeta, chimpanzee and Tarzan movie star, dies at 'roughly 80'

From ew, Cheeta the chimpanzee, who starred in Tarzan movies alongside Olympic swimmer-turned-actor Johnny Weissmuller in the 1930s and ranked #1 on’s list of the 10 Best Monkeys at the Movies, died of kidney failure Saturday. According to the Suncoast Primary Sanctuary’s outrach director, Cheeta was “roughly 80 years old, loved fingerpainting and football and was soothed by nondenominational Christian music.”

Roughly 80?! Way to live, chimp! That’s amazing! (Cheeta was an anomaly; the average zoo chimp dies around age 35-45.) I sure hope my favorite chimp lives that long.

The similarities between Cheeta the chimp and your average human don’t stop there: Cheeta loved to see people laugh, abandoned art projects as soon as he got bored with them, enjoyed standing up nice and tall, and “when he didn’t like somebody or something that was going on, he would pick up some poop and throw it at them.”

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Very Merry Horrorthony Christmas!

Since 1997 my mom and I have enjoyed the tradition of making our own Christmas stockings. She does killer embroidery work and I know enough basic stitches that I can add my own personal touches. One year I demanded mittens instead of the usual stocking foot; and the year after we made stockings in the shapes of vegetables (I was a tomato, my sister was a carrot, my dad was a bell pepper and my mom was a mushroom).

This year I was searching for something different. I knew without a doubt that JSP's felt stocking would feature Ace Frehley:

2011 KISSmas
But -- I had no idea what would go on mine. How can I encapsulate all of this year's happenings into one comprehensive "snapshot"? Once I thought about my involvement in Horrorthon this year and the pride I take in my writing *pats self on back* I knew what I had to do:

Zombies attacking the North Pole!
... that poor, out-of-place penguin. Every time I see the blood trickling out of its helpless mouth I can't help but giggle. Notice how the decapitated teddy bear adds a layer of terror to this priceless image.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Banking hard over magma

Since there's so much lazy free time leading up to Xmas, I've been putting together this little diorama for a Lego Speeder Bike contest over on Flickr. It's a response to an excellent ealier entry by a builder I really like (he did water, I did lava).

You can check my photo stream for more views.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The 16 Worst Christmas Specials of All Time

#15 A Very Brady Christmas

From toplessrobot, Throughout the years, there have been an array of Yuletide-themed programs that have tried to make your December merry and bright. The sad truth is that for every smile that watching the Peanuts gang dance around in A Charlie Brown Christmas brings comes countless tears caused by inferior holiday programming. This time of year is difficult enough to slog through without having to also endure lame specials injecting a bit of extra bah into your humbug. But which of these shows are the televisual equivalents of misfit toys? Let's find out in this Scrooge of a list that reveals the 16 worst Christmas specials ever made. A word of advance warning though, just because some of these entries may feature characters you love doesn't make them any less fa-la-la-la-lame.

Full list here

The Next Star Trek Might Have Pike, But No Old Crew

From toplessrobot, What do we know about the sequel to J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot? Well, it has a place for Captain Pike, or Admiral Pike, as he was known by the end of the first film. According to Robert Orci, one of several writers working on the sequel's script, Pike has a role, in-jokey wheelchair and all, if Bruce Greenwood wants to return.

Who doesn't have a place in the new film? No actors from the original Star Trek series cast (right) will show up, according to a new report from one of those "close to the production" sources. The first film wasn't particularly heavy on guest spots, as it only had Leonard Nimoy popping in as the original Spock to introduce a jarring plot twist about alternate realities. No, that's not a spoiler. The movie's two years old.

As someone who would've preferred Abrams rebooting Star Trek entirely from scratch, I'm fine with none of the original characters showing up the second time around. On the other hand, it'd be nice to see the actors in unrelated cameos like...I don't know, William Shatner voicing a Mugatu. I doubt that'll happen, but I expect plenty of nods to the older series in the next Abrams-backed Star Trek, even if the original cast isn't part of it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Prometheus theatrical trailer looks incredible

Wedding bells to ring for Archie Comics' gay character

(CNN) - One of Archie Comics' archetypal all-American teens is getting married – and it isn't to girl-next-door Betty Cooper or scheming sophisticate Veronica Lodge.

A year after introducing Riverdale’s first gay character, Kevin Keller, Archie Comics is showing his marriage to an African-American physical therapist named Clay Walker. The issue with their wedding, "Life with Archie #16," debuts at comic book stores January 4 and newsstands January 10.

It's part of a series that imagines the gang five or six years after graduation, with two alternate timelines - one in which Archie married Betty, another in which he married Veronica. Kevin's wedding appears as part of a story showing Archie and Betty's married life.

Kevin Keller is shown to have followed in his Army father's footsteps - in images released to CNN, readers learn that he served in the military and was injured while serving in Iraq. He meets Dr. Clay Walker while in a hospital’s rehabilitation unit.

Full article here

[JPX] I never thought I would live to see Archie Comics become so progressive, especially when the publisher used to put out frightening crap like this,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wrath of the Titans trailer

The Hobbit trailer!

2011: The Cinescape

The 6 Most Secretly Racist Classic Children's Books

#4 Tintin [excerpt]

The Racism:

On Tintin's journey to the Congo, all of the black people he meets are drawn to look like they're about to take the stage in the most offensive minstrel show ever put on. The Congo in Georges Remi's mind is populated infantile and naive imbeciles who are seemingly designed only to prove that condescension has an equivalent to blind hatred. Tintin and his traveling partner don't mistreat the natives. They find their attempts to build a country adorable, like a chimp that's learned to eat with a knife and fork. It's worth noting here that Tintin isn't nearly as condescending as his traveling partner, a talking dog.

Read the full post here

[Short Film] 'Beating Hearts' a Twisted New Take on the Killer Child Subgenre

Beating Hearts from Matthew Garrett on Vimeo.

From bloodydisgusting, After making the festival rounds this past year (Fantasia, Chicago International, Dead By Dawn, NYC Horror, Celluloid Screams, Daggers, Rio Fan, Philadelphia Cinefest), Matthew Garret's extremely NSFW "Beating Hearts" short film is now online for your viewing pleasure! Catch it below now because it vanishes online January 1, 2012...

A harrowing take on family ties, true love and murder, the film described as "a sickening twist on the killer child subgenre" is a winner of the Director's Choice Award (Best Short) at the 2011 Boston Underground Film Festival and the 2011 Philadelphia Geek Award for Best Local Short Film.

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer In Detail: 5 Things We Learned

[via cinemablend]

#5 Somebody else is driving the Batmobile.

This is a simple one-- if Batman is driving the hovering Batwing, who is driving the camouflaged Batmobile? Batman canon says it could be anyone from Catwoman to Robin to Alfred, but the possibilities truly seem endless-- Nolan has always been far less interested in what Batman canon allows than it what makes narrative sense. A lot of people want to assume this means Catwoman will team up with the Bat, or that Robin will somehow be introduced, but doesn't logic suggest that Commissioner Gordon could easily be the guy behind the wheel?

Full post here

I Am Legend with Alternate Ending is AMAZING

I've been a big fan of this movie since my first viewing (on the IMAX screen eight blocks from my house -- yes, it's good to live in NYC) and I've defended it endlessly against the strangely lukewarm reaction it got from geeks (despite its overwhelming box-office success). People say things like, "Well, it was a lame movie but the empty city was cool," and I'm like, "But the empty city WAS the movie!" Then people complain about the ending (and refer to the novel and the other versions) and I say, "Who cares," because I liked the movie so much and I didn't read the book, and I'm not about to see a Charlton Heston movie if I can possibly avoid it. Anyway my point is that I wasn't really aware of the story's original ethos, so I wasn't really equipped to understand everybody's judgments.

But it turns out there was supposed to be a different ending, and it's on the Blu-ray that I got last week. (And you don't have to fuck around with your remote or anything; you can just watch the whole movie either way, seamlessly.) I didn't get around to watching it until last night (because there's one sequence I just didn't have the emotional stamina for, and I'll bet you can figure out which one I mean). Now I've finally seen it and the difference it makes is overwhelming. It's a completely different movie this other way, and my admiration for it is vastly increased. I won't give anything away but I strongly recommend what I consider to be a true horror/sci-fi masterpiece; maybe my favorite in the apocalyptic genre. (This all may be old news to everybody here, but I'd never seen this before and it's just terrific.) It's just so great when sci-fi and horror gets the royal big-budget A-list treatment like happens all too rarely as we know.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Trailer for the trailer for ‘Prometheus’

There are only a few glimpses of footage here but it looks like Ridley Scott has captured the look and feel of Alien. I can't wait for this one.

The Dark Knight Rises theatrical trailer

Whoopi Goldberg farts loudly on 'The View' (slow news day)

Since when do the adults speak in 'Peanuts'?

I have a Peanuts day calendar on my desk and I was surprised that today's strip included dialogue from Lucy’s mother. I’ve been reading Peanuts for decades and I don’t ever recall an adult “speaking” in any of the strips. I always thought that this was intentional on Schulz’s part?

Sorry for the blurry photo, here's the dialogue,

Panel 1: Lucy: "Hey Mom!!! I lost a tooth! It just fell out!"

Panel 2: Lucy's mom: "That's fine..Put it under your pillow and maybe a good fairy will take it and leave you a dime."

Panel 3: [silence]

Panel 4: Lucy: "It fell in the wastebasket and I can't find it!"

Box office report: 'Sherlock Holmes' tops ho-hum weekend with $40 mil

From ew, Hollywood’s autumn blues continued as the box office trailed 2010 for the fourth week in a row. Thanks to the surprisingly soft debuts of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, this weekend’s top dozen movies earned about 13 percent less than last year’s. Luckily, next week brings us The Adventures of Tintin, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, We Bought a Zoo, and the wide expansion of Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. If those movies can’t lift the business out of the gutter, then Hollywood better start revising its New Year’s resolutions.

Warner Bros.’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, won the weekend with an estimated $40 million. That’s a steep drop from the 2009 original, which debuted to $62.3 million. It’s worth pointing out that the first movie opened on Christmas Day weekend, which helped to inflate its numbers. A Game of Shadows, on the other hand, opted for the weekend before Christmas — a much tougher frame due to the fact that many moviegoers are currently occupied with holiday preparations.

Still, most box-office prognosticators thought the $125 million sequel would at least generate $50 million this weekend. The PG-13 movie, which received middling reviews, will now have to hope it has sturdy legs throughout the holiday. One good sign is that A Game of Shadows received an “A-” grade from CinemaScore audiences, so word of mouth should be positive. As expected, the film skewed male, with men making up 59 percent of the audience. Also, as has been the case with many big movies this year, A Game of Shadows had trouble attracting younger moviegoers. Only 32 percent of its audience was under the age of 25.

Full report here

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bowl Breath

JPX and I have been discussing this so very disturbing television commercial for many years but had been unable to locate it. The ad came up again over dinner tonight and I gave it one more shot. Lo and behold I found it! It's not a twisted made up memory after all. Bowl breath - EWWWW!!! It must smell awful! You're welcome JPX.

Hell, yeah! Part 2

Finally, we get to know what Bane was saying in that 6 minute prologue!

From WWTDD, When the 7 minute prologue trailer for ‘the Dark Knight Rises’ leaked yesterday, most people immediately said two things: “damn that was bad ass!” and “I have no idea what the fuck was going on!”

Luckily someone from the studio was nice enough to email me the script pages for that scene. So now we can find out what the hell Bane is saying, learn the status of the fire, and discover why his henchmen brought along a dead guy in a body bag. Good luck getting that through customs when you land, henchmen.

Read the dialogue here

Christopher Hitchens - dead at 62

(From AP)

Christopher Hitchens, the author, essayist and polemicist who waged verbal and occasional physical battle on behalf of causes on the left and right and wrote the provocative best-seller "God is Not Great," died Thursday night after a long battle with cancer. He was 62.

Hitchens' death was announced in a statement from Conde Nast, publisher of Vanity Fair magazine. The statement says he died Thursday night at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston of pneumonia, a complication of his esophageal cancer.

"There will never be another like Christopher. A man of ferocious intellect, who was as vibrant on the page as he was atthe bar," said Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. "Those who read him felt they knew him, and those who knew him were profoundly fortunate souls."

A most-engaged, prolific and public intellectual who enjoyed his drink (enough to "to kill or stun the average mule") and cigarettes, he announced in June 2010 that he was being treated for cancer of the esophagus and canceled a tour for his memoir "Hitch-22."

Hitchens, a frequent television commentator and a contributor to Vanity Fair, Slate and other publications, had become a popular author in 2007 thanks to "God is Not Great," a manifesto for atheists that defied a recent trend of religious works. Cancer humbled, but did not mellow him. Even after his diagnosis, his columns appeared weekly, savaging the royal family or reveling in the death of Osama bin Laden.

"I love the imagery of struggle," he wrote about his illness in an August 2010 essay in Vanity Fair. "I sometimes wish I were suffering in a good cause, or risking my life for the good of others, instead of just being a gravely endangered patient."

Read the rest here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence trailer

WOW!!! Watch the first 6 minutes of The Dark Knight Rises

This is the 6 minute Dark Knight Rises prologue that will play before Mission Impossible 4 in certain IMAX theaters this weekend. Why wait when you can check it out now? Sure it's a bootleg but it's AWESOME.

Watch it here before it's gone!

First Poster For Ridley Scott's Prometheus

[via cinemablend]

Iconic Paramount Logo Gets Centennial Anniversary Revamp

From slashfilm, Other than the Hollywood sign, the Paramount logo is arguably the most iconic image in the film business. Though the company was founded in 1912, a snow covered peak from the Wasatch mountain range (seen above) has been its logo since 1916, appearing in front of some of the best movies of all time such as The Godfather and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Starting this weekend with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The Dark Knight Rises won’t be the only thing in front of the movie. A brand new 100 anniversary logo will be there too.

Here’s the 100 year Paramount logo which will run through 2012. In 2013, this new logo – designed by Devastudios Inc. – will part ways with the 100 and become the new symbol of Paramount.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hell, yeah! The Expendables II teaser

Ghost Rider reboot apparently awful

From cinemablend, Here are the basics. Nic Cage returns as spirit of vengeance Johnny Blaze, who sold his soul to The Devil (Ciaran Hinds) and now goes after the darkened souls of hardened criminals. The sequel has a solid cast, adding Idris Elba and Christopher Lambert for a thriller that shifts the action to Eastern Europe. Hopes are high.

Now, the bad news. Spirit of Vengeance was one of the films screened at Harry Knowles’ annual birthday party Butt-Numb-A-Thon. Reaction wasn’t good. At all.

“GHOST RIDER 2 manages to make me look fondly back on GHOST RIDER. Unbearable,” tweeted Devin Faraci of Badass Digest.

“The script is nonsense to the point where Neveldine, who was present for a short Q&A, even as admitted so much by saying they inserted several ADR sequences to try and explain things,” Pete Hall of wrote.

Other negative posts went after the film’s 3D. That’s not great. There’s time to tighten a few things before the film’s Feb. 17 release … but not much time. At the very least, Spirit of Vengeance will have a cool poster. Beyond that, we make no promises.

TWIN PEAKS Music Galore!

From aintitcoolnews, That's right! That gum you like is going to come back in style. Since March of this year Lynch has been slowly releasing unreleased tracks from TWIN PEAKS labeled as an "open album" steadily growing ever since. THE TWIN PEAKS ARCHIVE is now holding strong at 106 tracks totaling more than five hours of music! Each single track or small bundle is $0.99 while multiple track bundles are priced at $2.99 or $3.99. You can choose between high-quality 320kbps MP3s or Apple Lossless format.

I purchased about half the archive tonight and am currently downloading what I bought. I'll probably do the rest later tonight or tomorrow.

There's been no single show in the history of television that has stirred my passions quite like TWIN PEAKS. I still consider it the single most amazing program in the history of TV. Having all this music is a real treat. I wonder how long he can keep this going? How much more music is there?

I'd love hang red velvet curtains in a room floored with black and white herringbone tiles and play this entire archive on a continual loop 24/7.

...the birds sing a pretty song and there's always music in the air.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Horrorthon Faves Results!

Thankyou for your patience, and it's good to see the blog chugging along as usual. Using some precise and impressive technology (I have a mechanical pencil!), I will now sit down and tally the first ever Horrorthon Favorites.

Fuck! There are several ties. Hmmm...

The clear winner of the Best Theme category is Johnny Sweatpants's coverage of Evil Clown Movies, getting four whole votes, which is more than any other thing that got voted on. There were also multiple mentions of JPX's Found Footage roundup.

Funniest Review goes to JSP for Blood Harvest (thanks Tiny Tim!)

Best Discovery goes to JPX for finding Rare Exports, which is a testament to his bloggery because I seem to recall he tried to tell us all about it months ago.

Best Screenshot(s) goes to my series for Fiend Without a Face. (Aw, thanks!)

While nobody voted twice for the same comment, 50PageMcGee received multiple mentions, so he gets the Right Funny Bastard award.

At this point All-Around Favorite Review, Best So Bad It's Good Review and Most Obscure Discovery all feature several entries but not one that's voted for more than once.

Also of note, I added Best Caption and Most Asses to my own batch of votes, just to be difficult.

This has been a blast, but another format occurred to me: For next year, what do you think of everyone doing a combination Best Of/Faves post after the deadline is past, first running down their own favorite movie experiences and then showcasing their favorite stuff by the other 'thonners? We'll tweak the categories to cut down on overlap, but I think it might work.

(I don't know about you, but this "review everything and vote" business is insane. I'm going to keep an ongoing list from now on. I couldn't even remember my Funniest Comment, and I had one, too.)

I'll update these results if more votes come in, but good job, folks! It was very gratifying to call for votes and suddenly see 10 comments. The fact that we have all these ties only speaks to the vast array of talent we've got here.

See you on the blog!

John Carter Trailer

'Watchmen' writer Alan Moore joins Occupy Comics group, slams Frank Miller for criticizing protesters

From ew, Watchmen writer Alan Moore has joined Occupy Comics, an organization of comics-industry notables who are lending their support to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Moore’s fellow Occupy Comics signatories include Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), and David Lloyd.

The support of Moore and Lloyd is notable both because of the weight they carry in the comics community, and because it was their comic, V for Vendetta, which first introduced the Guy Fawkes masks regularly worn by Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Moore recently reflected on the protesters’ use of the V masks to the U.K. Guardian. “When you’ve got a sea of V masks, I suppose it makes the protesters appear to be almost a single organism — this ’99 percent’ we hear so much about,” he said. “That in itself is formidable. I can see why the protesters have taken to it.”

Moore has also slammed fellow comics writer Frank Miller. Last month, the author of The Dark Knight Returns wrote on his blog that the protesters are “nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists.” In a new interview with the website Honest Publishing, Moore describes Miller’s “Sin City stuff” as “unreconstructed misogyny” and claims there has “probably been a rather unpleasant sensibility” apparent in his work for a long time. “[The Occupy movement] is a completely justified howl of moral outrage and it seems to be handled in a very intelligent, nonviolent way, which is probably another reason why Frank Miller would be less than pleased with it,” Moore continues. “I’m sure if it had been a bunch of young, sociopathic vigilantes with Batman makeup on their faces, he’d be more in favor of it.”

Early Spoiler-Free Reaction: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Prologue

From slashfilm, Tonight I was invited to the IMAX Theatre at Universal Citywalk to get an early look at Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises prologue, which will be attached to huge screen IMAX prints of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol on December 16th 2011 (participating theaters list). I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, so my report will be pretty spoiler free — purely a reaction.

Like The Dark Knight prologue which screened before I Am Legend, this is the opening sequence from the movie — six minutes with an added minute-or-so teaser-style flash of imagery from the film. And just as The Dark Knight’s prologue was not what you expected — a bank heist thriller, this also takes you to a place you never expected the story to begin. And this opening gives Tom Hardy’s Bane a grand entrance — yes, just like the Joker got in the last film.

The tension-filled sequence is a spectacle on a grand scale, the grandest — in full screen 70mm IMAX. You will see a hiest like you’ve never seen it before — but what else do you expect from the director of Inception? There is a moments in this piece which feature Hardy in an unbelievable and breathtaking situation, which might be on par with Tom Cruise’s 1-mile high spotlight moment in Dubai. But the star of the sequence is not Hardy, or Nolan, but the IMAX format. It is clear after seeing this sequence that The Dark Knight Rises is a must see in 70mm IMAX. I can’t even imagine watching the film in digital or 35mm, missing out on much of the epic scope.

Read the full article here

George Takei, Prince of (Star) Peace

From toplessrobot, The wise, wonderful George Takei has stepped into the bitter war of words between William Shatner and Carrie Fisher, trying to broker peace between the two sci-fi franchise titans. I'm not 100% sure it will work, but god bless him for trying, and there's something incredibly awesome about hearing Takei say "May the Force be with you," if nothing else.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Men in Black III trailer

And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Star Trek Themed Local Mattress Store Commercial

From geekology, So I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today (which, incidentally, is just a mattress on the floor because why pay for a bed frame or boxspring when you're already afraid of heights?) and it got me thinking: does my back hurt because my mattress is too stiff or because I drank my face off last night and my kidneys are shot? Life's little mysteries. This is a local Star Trek themed mattress store commercial. Would I go there to buy a mattress? No. Would I go there to intentionally pee on a Tempur-Pedic and try to get it at a discount? For you, yes.

Cool posters!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mysterious Paper Sculptures

(From Central Stn)
One day in March, staff at the Scottish Poetry Library came across a wonderful creation, left anonymously on a table in the library. Carved from paper, mounted on a book and with a tag addressed to @byleaveswelive – the library’s Twitter account – reading:
It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree.… … We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words.… This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. a gesture (poetic maybe?)

 Read the entire story here.  It's really, really cool.

Friday, December 09, 2011

DCD's Best of H-thon 2011

Screw work, dammit!

I wanted to do so much more this year! Oh well.  Without further ado...

All Around Fave: Burning Bright.  This movie hit all the right chords for me and I have JPX to thank as his review of it last year peaked my interest. Definitely recommend it to all Horrorthoners!

Worst Movie: Blood Creek. Nazi Zombies! How could it miss! I guess because it wasn't Dead Snow...

Most Disturbing:  Paranormal Activity 2.  Although it didn't freak me out quite as much as the first one, it still totally delivered.  Plus it had the added element of the baby being in danger, which disturbs me much more then random adults.

Scariest/Tension Filled:  Tie - PA2 and Burning Bright.  Both more for the tension built throughout as opposed to "in your face" scares.

Goriest: Blood Creek  - however, it was pretty lame CGI gore, so I'm not giving it that much credit.

Scream Queen:  Janet Blair from Burn, Witch, Burn.

 I love the old black and white movies for the incredible atmosphere.
 Love it!

Not to be confused with - Hottest Hottie:  Briana Evigan from Burning Bright. Hot and smart, what's not to like?

Scariest Monster: The one you could actually meet one day if you were ever traipsing through the forests of Siberia...

Hidden Gem: Got to give it up to Burning Bright once again.  In a close second, I would recommend The Perfect Host. David Hyde Pierce is really wonderful in that movie.  I just had too many issues with the last half hour to bump Burning Bright from this spot.

Even though I only watched five (wah-waaaaahhhh) flicks this year, I was pleased with my choices as I felt I found some interesting films.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


Yes, JPX, it has a name: Coulrophobia, the "irrational" fear of clowns. I came across this definition following some links. So the medical/scientific community is right on top of this one, rest assured.

(more art here)

Vote Vote Vote! Vote for your favorites!

Welcome to the first ever Horrorthonner Favorite Awards! Or Something! I Don't Know What We'll Call Them! Welcome!

It's been another great contest and I think now more than ever we should formally recognize the talents on display here besides the uncanny ability to hork down fat plates of horror. Mmm-MMM!

In the comments of this post, cast a vote for your favorite example of the following categories among all the reviews of Horrorthon 2011.

All-around favorite review
Funniest review
Best So Bad It's Good review
Best discovery
Most obscure discovery
Best coverage of a theme or series
Best screenshot
Funniest comment

If you wish to review further, check the technological marvel that is the Horrorthon Score Page for links to everyone's work. Feel free to add a category or, if you can't think of a good example of something, leave a category out. This is our first time with this and things can be even more fluid than usual. That also means the floor is open to any questions or comments along the way.

The Best Ofs holdouts are still encouraged to post! We miss you!

We'll be posting results on Sunday, and then I'll reveal the winner of September's Caption Contest on Monday and we'll be back to business for Xmas. Horrorthon has been one of my favorite things about the holiday season since it started, and this was a banner year. Thanks for coming back, everybody.

Now vote!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Happy Birthday Catfreeek!

Hope you had a freakalicious birthday and that all of your twisted, deeply disturbing dreams come true. You rock, Catfreeek! 

Monday, December 05, 2011

Horrorthon Faves! Voting in a few days!

Here's what I'm thinking about for this week, before Horrorthon returns to its regularly scheduled bloggery. I hope those of us still holding out on Best Ofs (I can't make fun, I waited until December) manage to post them over the next few days, then I'll do a post calling for votes on various 2011 favorites. We can vote for a couple of days and then all have pie. Here are the categories we thunk up so far.

Straight-up Most Movies Watched (Abby won!)
All-Around Favorite review
Funniest review
Best So Bad It's Good review
Best Discovery
Most Obscure Discovery
Best coverage of a theme or series
Best Screenshot
Funniest comment

I suggest everyone look over our two months of output over the next couple of days and think up some faves in these categories and any other write-in categories you can think of. I'll do a post Wednesday night that we can all attach votes to in the comments section.

I'm thinking we can keep it flexible. If you can't think of a good example for "funniest comment," for example (as that might require a lot of re-reading), blow it off. If two categories are too similar, drop one of them. It's our first year doing this and Horrorthon is always an evolving beast.

Great contest this year, guys. Cracking good stuff. See you here on Wednesday.

The Walking Dead discussion

I went back and watched most of the first season again and it's just so good...anyway there needs to be lots and lots of spoiler-iffic Horrorthon discussion of the show. We can either do it here or keep adding to my original post below. (I just added a comment there.) All SPOILERS should stay on the comment page(s); read at your own risk etc.

"Hey, 'Walker-Bait'!"

Sunday, December 04, 2011

See Octopunk at work!

If you click here you can watch the three-minute making-of video about the show I worked on last spring. I make a brief appearance at 2:46.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Octopunk's Best of Horrorthon 2011

Man, what a contest this year! I am SO glad we imposed a deadline, otherwise I'd be living with guilty pressure for months to come, and maybe the whole year. Looking at the month I'm embarrassed to note that of my 26 movies I only posted 7 reviews during actual October. And then that crazy 15 review weekend... sorry about that. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read such a dense text bomb.

I was only able to finish because I did NOT write my reviews in the order in which I saw them, something I've rigidly stuck to since I've been a 'thonner for no reason I can think of now. It was way more fun to write the review I was thinking about, instead of grinding through the next one no matter what. Then I even posted them out of order and the world didn't explode, so I'm blowing that system off for good. It just slowed me down.

And, for I hope the last time this year, I have caught up on comments again, going back to 50P's Trollhunter review.

Now, the brass tacks:

All-Around Favorite Movie: Monsters, with Trollhunter coming in as a close second.

Best Hidden Gem Movie: An honorable mention to Homebodies, but the winner is Gorgo for the sneaky trick of being one of the best of its genre.

Worst Movie: Blood Beach, hands down. I'd say they just tied a camera and microphone around a dog's neck and called it a movie, but that would be unfair to dogs.

Best So Bad It's Good Movie: Saturn 3, which was just relentlessly unintentionally silly.

Most Disturbing Movie: Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman because that ghost was just so damn random and mean. Honorable mention to Let's Scare Jessica to Death for its offputting weirdness.

Goriest Movie: Piranha 3D, with a respectful nod to Zombie

Scariest Movie: Black Sabbath, thanks to the Gritted Teeth Lady. Aaaah! She's here!

Best Looking Monster: I thought about the humongous Jotnar troll from Trollhunter and the brain critters from Fiend Without a Face, but the winner is Gorgo, for being everything you could want in a rampaging monster and still looking somewhat original.

Most Memorable Death: The chick whose hair gets tangled in the boat propeller in Piranha, because it culminates with all the skin from her upper lip to the top of her face being ripped off. It's not even clear that she dies, but having one's face skinned is... yuck.

Most Avoidable Death: This is a tie. There's the person in Zombieland who pranks somebody by pretending to be a zombie and the idiot in Jeepers Creepers 2 who plays with the unconscious Creeper's wing that's sticking through the roof of the bus.

Hottest Hottie: How come nobody's picking hottest hotties? Honorable mention to Samantha from Monsters (actress Whitney Able, top), but the win goes to 50s cutie-pie Kim Parker, whose short film career graced Fiend Without a Face.

Thanks for another great year, folks! I'll do a post shortly about voting for some favorites.

One more thing: I watched seven movies this year as a direct result of being recommended by other 'thonners:

JSP: Zombie and Homebodies
Cat: Black Sabbath and Idle Hands
DCD: Let's Scare Jessica to Death
JPX: Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman and Trollhunter

They were ALL winners. We're going to do a pregame recommendation powwow every year.

Gorgo demands it!

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Walking Dead

I've been MIA all through the festivities this year because I've been very busy with a couple of things, but also because I'm just not really in the horror movie vibe right now (Sacrilege!). I've lurked and read a lot of the (great) reviews and I've been impressed with the quality and quantity of everybody's output here, but as I see the little photographs of bloody faces, ghouls, knives etc. flow past day by day on the site I realize that I'm not really in the "horror movie" headspace right now.

But then I discovered The Walking Dead, just this week, and now, having watched the entire series in two days, I'm so excited about what I've seen that I wanted to come back here and mention it. (I understand there's a blogger website created by enthusiastic and smart horror fans...) With one or two small niggling issues, I'm totally sold on the series and I have a couple of meager observations:

First of all, I'm not going to summarize or "critique" the various elements in Walking Dead, because, well, boring, right? I could go through the scenes, the performances, the excellent moments, the complex plotting, the various homages to the rich tradition of zombie stories. (I could even pull out little framegrabs and give them witty captions like "This guy's had enough lunch" or whatever.) But there's plenty of that kind of thing all over the web and I don't think anybody needs me to talk about Lori's character development or whether Rick made the right decision or whatever.

What's vastly more interesting to me is the larger questions of horror storytelling. AMC (creators of Mad Men and Breaking Bad) (obviously) put Frank Darabont in charge of this, and really, what's provided here is exactly the antidote to my "horror fatigue" that I was discussing above. The classic, vanilla "zombie apocalypse" that occurs here is not any different than any other ZA (including classic Romero but also Zombieland). Romero's movies invented a storytelling format that's been copied by everyone else (including the makers of 28 Days Later and other near-beer variations on the idea), but they also invented the ZA, which is pretty much a constant through all zombie stories (since zombies = zombie apocalypse, which has been demonstrated elsewhere on Horrorthon).

What's different here is the post-Sopranos long-form cable-tv storytelling mode, and this is a seismic shift. Gangster movies were revolutionized by The Godfather, but even The Godfather is dwarfed by The Sopranos, which was the first example of what I'm calling a new kind of storytelling that isn't really movies or television but has more to do with long-form novels or book series. The Walking Dead uses the Zombie Apocalypse as a setting for its story (not as the story itself), so that the Achilles' Heel of horror -- inferior characterizations and drama -- is eliminated. It's not that the writing/acting/directing is suddenly at Kubrick levels or anything like that: it's simply the format itself that allows for something new that can't be done on a movie screen.

I'm not knowledgeable enough about zombie lore to properly contextualize The Walking Dead against the backdrop of the dozens and dozens of zombie movies and comics and TV shows that are out there. Nevertheless, for me, this series was like the perfect antidote to "horror fatigue," because that part of me that's so damn tired of putting up with the chronic inadequacies of horror (bad characters, bad acting, feeble human story) was so invigorated and refreshed by this series. It took forty years to get from The Public Enemy (where James Cagney defined the movie gangster) to The Godfather (which finally brought novelistic depth to the idea); it took about the same amount of time to get from Romero's prototypes and templates to The Walking Dead's far richer exploration of the idea.

So, sorry I missed Horrorthon this year, but (as I'm saying) I got a little burned out, and this wonderful AMC series was just what the doctor ordered. (Anyone who wants to talk at length about the series can meet me on the comment page.)