Showing posts from January, 2010

No Flea Market Finds Today (Snow) - Markie's First Model

With the snow wiping out a chance to go to the flea market this morning, and the estate salefrom yesterday being more of a waste of gas than an adventure full of surprises, my daughter Markie and I broke down and  finally put together her Dr. Zaius model from one of her favorite movies (the original) Planet of the Apes .

It was so nice to have my 5-year old join her older sister Jillian (7) and have an affinity for monster related models. Jillian's first model was Rodan, built last July right after Blobfest.

Junior's Shelf (Test video with new camera)

Brenda and the kids gave me a new HD video camera as an early birthday gift so I can work on filming some of the short films I write from time to time. So, as the snow fell outside tonight and Bren watched Twilight (Ugh!), I played around with my sons fetus, Junior, while he sat on his shelf!

Legends and Lore - Slavic Vampires

Vampire myths have been passed down for generations. These legends of the undead, unfairly based largely in rumor and ignorance, are staples at every fireside chat in every culture throughout the world. In fact, if there is one common thread that bonds every person on earth, it is their fear of the vampire.The modern day stories that have brought the vampire myth into the mainstream were largely based on observations of the mentally unstable or strangely deceased, creating a stigma that many real life vampires deal with today.

I am sure that most people are familiar with Bram Stoker's Dracula, a great romance novel that rightfully captured the populace in 1897. However, Stoker's tale stretched the realities of vampirism and created a false façade that overwhelms the true origins and beliefs of the myths. Stoker was neither the first nor the last author to pen accounts of the vampire. Lord Byron introduced (and maybe influenced) the common elements of vampirism in his 1813 poem,…

The Creature (1998)

Having sat down tonight with little to do, I started to flip through the guide on my television to see if anything caught my eye. There was the usual rotation (at least for this week), there was Twilighton Showtime, The Last Picture Show on Retro and Armageddonon Encore. Then I stumbled onto Peter Benchley’s Creature on Reelz. To be honest, I spent the majority of 1998 travelling the Mediterranean Sea in the Navy and caught this via our half operational satellite television station. So, the quality left a little to be desired (as did most things on the system).
Tonight all I could remember was it was a bit long and the creature (and story line) reminded me of the movie, The Creature Walks Among Us, with the way it acted. What I found tonight was a film that had much better pacing and flow in a continuous feed vice mini-series. I am by no means a fan of sea movies. Hell, I cannot even swim and I despise the beach (I know, I know, how is it possible that a Naval Sailor not know how to…

City of the Living Dead (1980)

When Lucio Fulci decided to follow up his 1979 classic Zombie Flesh Eaters with the 1980 release of City Of The Living Dead, little did people realize that the Italian horror master would lead them on an unparalleled masterpiece of violent imagery, atmosphere and climate. Complete with some tremendous visual effects, Fulci definitely transports the viewer into a dark realm of the undead. While the movie does lack some story, the medical, religious and occult overtones add to the landscape of the film. Not to mention the strange and creepy looking zombies that the crew developed for this film.

Originally released as The Gates of Hell, the film is far from perfect; suffering from some slow periods throughout and an ending that appears choppy and rushed. That being said, the brilliance of the movie is not overshadowed by these few flaws. In fact, director of photography, Sergio Salvati, created an eerie feeling throughout the film with the strange ultra-dark settings and the blue and wh…

Flea Market Finds - Gizmo's

I love searching estate sales, yard sales and flea markets for new items to put into my collection of horror related items and creepy curiosities. Today I found the two original Gremlins from 1984 to add to my home museum and I only spent 50 cents (The original Planet of the Apes model was found in December for $5.00). To me, this was a great find and an awsome buy!

Gremlinswas one of the first movies that I introduced my daughters to during our Saturday Scary Movie Nights. It was so refreshing when they recognized Gizmo today at the flea market. Hopefully, they will continue to grow and enjoy these movies as much as I do.

Please don't let someone remake this film

As a boy growing up in South Western Pennsylvania, it was easy to develop an interest in the unexplained. Everywhere you looked, it seemed like something strange as being seen or experienced. Since that time, I have had an interest in Bigfoot and the other creatures that wander our countryside. One of my first experiences was when my parents took me to the drive-in to see The Legend of Boggy Creek .That really may be the only movie that actually scared me. The visuals took me to my home, a small wooden farmhouse in a valley on a desolate highway between Uniontown and Masontown. Even worse, the dreaded woods surrounded our house making it easy access for any creatures that wanted to straggle in. Looking at the movie today, it is a stretch to call the film a work of art or cinematic masterpiece. In fact, it has many flaws in the script, in the effects and in the filming. Yet, when you consider that the 1972 movie was made for roughly $100,000, it can be considered a work of genius for …

Zombie Holocaust (1980)

Having recently purchased a box full of horror movies, I was ecstatic to find that a large portion of the movies involved my favorite undead characters, zombies! Unfortunately, the first one I grabbed, Girolami's Zombie Holocaust, left me a bit depressed. Maybe even a bit appalled in the likeness to the Lucio Fulci Classic, Zombie, which is one of my favorites?
In some ways, I should not be surprised as I see many movies today in the horror genre, that are clearly rehashed versions of movies that struck a cord with the audience, and directors are quick to copy in hopes of capitalizing on the similarities. However, in this case, it may have been to an extreme.
Ironically, besides sharing an almost identical plot, both movies were released in 1979, have matching sets, have the same star (Ian McCulloch), and even share some supporting cast members. Unfortunately, that is where the similarities end. Originally released in the United States as Dr. Butcher, M.D. (after adding in some …

Happy Birthday - David Lynch

When I finally sat down to relax today after spending another day in the hospital with Scarlet Circus Ring Mistress and wife Brenda, I discovered that today was Director David Lynch’s birthday. As a huge fan, I would be remiss if I did not mention him in some way. As a writer, I have found that Lynch’s work has been a tremendous influence on my style and in the way I see scenes develop in my head.

Honestly, I have been hooked on his movies since I saw The Elephant Man, and told my mother (an art major) that it was the most beautiful movie I had seen (since The Fog - OK, my vision of beauty in cinema has been skewed for a while now). The next thing I remember was seeing a picture of the ear from Blue Velvet in my Fangoria Magazine. From there, I couldn’t get enough of his movies and television efforts.

It is strange but I often feel like many horror fans have overlooked his work. Yes, the surrealistic elements and confusing story lines can be difficult to follow to a casual observer…

Kingdom of Spiders (1977)

Kingdom Of The Spiders
The films of the 1970s and 1980s are such a breath of fresh air in comparison to the new CGI entries that populate the movie landscape. This especially evident in films that involve insectual plagues running over society. Remember those flicks, they had ants attacking, killer bees attacking, and even spiders attacking. Of course, many of these films were created to “instruct” the populace on what to do when and if these monsters attacked. Fortunately, these fears were never realized and the movies fell by the wayside.
Today, January 19, William Shatner’s 1977 Kingdom of the Spiders will again gain popularity with a fresh special edition DVD release by Shout! Factory. As one of the more memorable films of this genre, the rebirth is justified. Shatner plays a small town veterinarian that discovers a giant problem when his town is overtaken by a giant swarm of pissed off eight-legged beasts. True, calling them beasts may be extreme, but the way they devour the loc…

The Lugosi Classic - White Zombie (1932)

White Zombie  is one of the great unheralded horror classics of the 1930's and unfortunately, it is almost forgotten today, overrun by the modern flesh eating creatures that cloud the true history of zombie lore. In fact, White Zombie may be the first and oldest surviving zombie movie ever made. Unlike the modern movies of the genre that we grew up on, or can see today, these traditional zombie characters are not evil in themselves craving brains and devouring everything in their path. Instead, they are mindless wanderers, controlled by an evil shaman, who must be destroyed to save the zombies from their helpless slumber.
Actually, the characters in this movie do a great job at portraying the creepy zombies that were created in this masterpiece. They set a dark and uneasy mood throughout the film, a perfect backdrop for the voodoo-like overtones and rituals that take the film to another level. Unfortunately, the years have not been kind on this movie. For many years the film sat,…

Zombies, Poetry and Death Metal

Every once in a while you stumble across something that you find pretty awesome. For me, it often happens when I discover that my writing has left an impression on someone. I had one of those moments recently when I discovered that one of my zombie related poems, The Walking Dead, had an effect on a band called Romero's Plague . So much so that they posted it in their blog on MySpace.

I was actually blown away by that and it inspired me to dive deeper into my zombie realm and create more piece of my poetic zombie epic. While it isn't close to being complete yet, it is coming to life a little more everyday.

What is happening out there? These people…These depraved creatures Plaguing us like the locusts in Babylon My mind cannot, will not comprehend what I have witnessed tonight This ordeal glistening like a surreal testament from Argento This nightmare cannot be real
I shake, trembling from the fear I must stay strong The others are counting on my vigilance For generations it h…

The Bridge - A Poem inspired by the Mothman

The following is a poem inspired by one of my favorite mysterious creatures, The Mothman:

The Bridge

Mysterious lines cross the sky
Did you see them?
He was there upon the bridge
Staring into the chasm before the despair
Alive again
Shaking the mortal landscape
Their foundations cracked

Apparent only to the blind
Did you see him?
His return prophesized in scripture
At least forty years have past since the last encounter
The signs were all around
A moth flew across the clouds weakening the rafters
Blinding the populace with dissent

At last, his message revealed
Did you hear him?
Mass destruction followed
The past rises from the ashes
With the meek again standing guard
More disasters abound
Two more if the legends are true

Those eyes burn with laughter
Did you see them?
The grand wings unfurled
His presence feared
The moth again takes flight
The locations planned
Devastation nears

Remember the point
His rise to immortality
Will this time end the same way?
Will the innocents’ death be in va…

The Answer is Easy - Hollow Earth

Lately, one theme has been continually popping up in all of the different areas that I research, the theory of Hollow Earth. When I originally heard this idea, like many, I was skeptical. After all, how could years of scientific study be wrong? Every day, geologists from around the globe study the structural make-up of our planet, a practice that has taken place for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Yet, no accepted evidence pointing to this possibility exists. However, mirroring everything else considered a fringe scientific field that fact means very little.
To me, I view everything with an open mind and am at least willing to consider the possibilities that survive. That is when everything got weird. It seemed that everywhere I looked, everything I read, they all had a reference to Hollow Earth. Even in the pages of Haunted Times Magazine that I build for every issue, I started to see traces of the theory sprinkled throughout different volumes. In past installments, we have co…

Into Minds Eye

Last night I was watching the movie Madhouse, a movie about a typical crazy person loose in an institution with death and destruction on his mind.  I actually felt right at home watching this flick, it had all of the elements required to make horror movies at least watchable: Blood, Gore, Sexy Women, Breasts, Death, and the crazy doctor that is only interested in making money. While the movie was far from perfect, it did capture my attention for more than a few minutes.
Of course, my suffering through the movie last night was only because I couldn't focus on anything relating to any project that I am involved in. My writing was at a standstill and none of  my creations were  talking to me, crying to come to life. To complicate matters last night, I couldn't sleep and I spent the night tossing and turning. That bout of insomnia got me thinking about some of the other asylum movies that out there. There are a ton, and some of them aren't that bad. However, for every good one,…