Category Archives: 31 Days Of Horror
Author, artist, and playwright Clive Barker made his directorial debut on September 18, 1987. He was adapting his own novel The Hellbound Heart, which would become the seminal work of horror cinematic art known as Hellraiser. Barker had no experience as a film director, but after two disappointing adaptations of his work (Transmutations and Rawhead Rex) he was determined to direct his own work and get it right.
In 1987 there was still room for innovation in horror cinema and though the slashers that ruled the day were already beginning to be a bit repetitious, there were still high points. 1987 alone had plenty of iconic films: Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark, Michele Soavi’s Stage Fright, John Carpenter’s Prince Of Darkness, and Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2, just to name a few. No film, though, came out of left field and blew them all off the road like Hellraiser.
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Belle Ghoul’s Bandcamp notes that they hope to “provide a part of the soundtrack to your life.” The band’s latest video, for the delightful track “Lift Me Up,” is perfect for the Halloween season.
It’s a ridiculously clever and charming homage to silent films, puppetry, and one of Halloween’s all-time heavyweights, Count Dracula.
Belle Ghoul is comprised of Christopher Tait, Jesse Paris Smith, Matt Van, Zach Shipps, and Mike Alonso.
For more info on the band, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/belleghoul/
Slayaway Camp Devs Sharpen Machetes on a Brand New ”Killer Puzzle”
From the makers of Slayaway Camp—the award-winning “Bloodiest Puzzle Game Ever”—comes an even more frightening puzzler starring one of horror’s most iconic killers. Now you can go behind the hockey mask of Jason Voorhees on his mission to murder unfortunate campers at Crystal Lake and beyond.
Players control Jason by sliding him around an isometric puzzle level to attack his victims, either directly with a variety of weapons, or indirectly, by frightening them into environmental hazards like campfires, bear traps, and woodchippers. Gruesome reflex-based “Kill Scenes” punctuate the puzzling as you progress through multiple episodes, from classic campgrounds to more exotic locations such as Manhattan, abandoned amusement parks, supermax prisons, beach resorts, outer space and more.
“I loved the balance of horror and humor the Blue Wizard guys brought to Slayaway Camp,” said Friday the 13th series creator Sean Cunningham, “and I’m thrilled to see their take on Friday the 13th.”
“Though it might surprise PopCap players, I’m a lifelong hardcore horror fan,” said Blue Wizard founder Jason Kapalka. “But it’s pretty hard to make a terrifying game on your phone! As with Plants vs Zombies, we’re taking a more playful, tongue-in-cheek approach than is usual for Friday the 13th, while still paying genuine tribute to all those classic films.”
F13: TPG will be initially released on iPhone and Android devices as a ”Free to Slay” title with optional purchases. “We’re sensitive to the concerns a lot of players have with free to play titles,” said Kapalka. “We’re definitely trying to avoid the more obnoxious money-grabs. They’ve promised to send Jason after us if it sucks.”
About Blue Wizard Digital
Blue Wizard Digital was started by Jason Kapalka, who previously co-founded PopCap Games (Bejeweled, Peggle, Plants vs Zombies). Their first game, Slayaway Camp, was released Halloween 2016 to critical acclaim on Steam, iOS, and Android platforms, followed by console release on Xbox One and PS4 this Halloween.
With superheroes, and especially Marvel superheroes, probably being among the most popular Halloween trick or treat costumes this year, it might be worth checking out how the animated Marvel superheroes handle the holiday. What do the Hulk, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Hawkeye and the Avengers do to celebrate Halloween? Meet me after the jump to find out…
It’s that time of year when podcasts give way to my Halloween playlist. Who am I kidding? I listen to it throughout the year. As of this writing, my list contains 144 tracks at just under 9 hours of continuous holiday listening pleasure, but I’m always looking to add more. My most recent acquisition came courtesy of a retail Halloween chain. The Shazam app on my smartphone told me the song I was hearing was “Vampires Are Alive” by DJ Bobo, and it became #144 on the list. Sometimes in an effort to expand the list, it helps to think outside the box.
With Red Christmas, Craig Anderson hasn’t just made a solid slasher film in the great ‘Oz-ploitation’ tradition of wildly pushing the boundaries, but he’s also made a film with a lot of heart and thought-provoking moments. Red Christmas may also push a lot of buttons, as it deals with abortion, religion, and sordid family secrets.
Rats are terrifying, of that there is no doubt. Just the sight of one at a store or restaurant will cause us to never visit the establishment again, and heaven forbid we see one in our home! Now imagine them organized, and turned against us. Brrrr… yeah, really scary. That was the theme of two frightening films of the early 1970s. Meet me after the jump for my 31 Days of Horror reviews of Willard and Ben!
The new documentary 78/52 dives deep into the technical aspects, meanings, anecdotes, and impact of Alfred Hitchcock’s notorious shower scene from his landmark 1960 film Psycho. (The film’s title refers to the 78 camera set ups and the 52 cuts in that scene.) Many industry luminaries lend their opinions and insights in the film, like Peter Bogdanovich, Elijah Wood, Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny Elfman, Bret Easton Ellis, Mick Garris, Richard Stanley, and even Janet Leigh’s body double Marli Renfro.
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I have a thing for vampires. I won’t tell you how much of a thing, since I’m pretty sure I began last year’s 31 Days of Horror Biff Bam Pop! guest post by doing just that. But let’s just say, Andy invited me back and I picked another vampire movie. If he calls on me next year, the outcome will likely be the same. It’s a big thing.
The reason vampires are my number one monster largely comes down to versatility. They can be used to tell horror stories, fantasy stories, sci-fi stories, romance stories – you name it, really. They can be anything from grotesque and monstrous to almost mistakably, sympathetically human, and all points in between. And their narratives can be just as grand or just as slight as the opposite ends of that spectrum allow for. With vampires, the possibilities feel endless. It’s hard to be bored with a bloodsucker in the room.
And it’s damn hard to pick favourites.
So I’m not going to.
Instead, I’m going to tell you about a little vampire movie you may have missed, but one that should be on your radar, particularly if you’ve fallen under the thrall of the slow-burn soul searching and quiet suffering of films such as Byzantium (2012) and Only Lovers Left Alive (2013).
Like those movies, 2011’s Midnight Son won’t tell you the whole story – it begins and ends somewhere in the middle. While not as lush or stylish as either of the previously mentioned films, its realness and desperation function in a similar manner. Want a look at vampirism without the lens of escapist fantasy? Want a look at what it would be like in the real world, in our modern world? Look here. It’s messy, problematic, and dangerous.
Midnight Son is the sole feature from writer/director Scott Leberecht (better known for his visual effects work on blockbusters such as Spawn, Sleepy Hollow and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters), who commands a cast of largely unknown actors. It’s a film that never makes its main character Jacob’s vampirism implicit (in fact, I’m not sure the word is ever spoken aloud, though it is seen on a poster). When the movie begins, he is already “sick.” We do not know why or how he contracted the contagion or how long he’s suffered, only that it’s worsening. Read the rest of this entry
31 Days of Horror: Enter the Stephen King Universe with Creepshow and The Dark Tower: The Art of the Film
2017 will go down as a massive year for the king of horror, Stephen King. A bestselling novel (Sleeping Beauties), multiples television shows (The Mist, Mr. Mercedes), film adaptations on both Netflix (1922, Gerald’s Game) and the big screen (It, The Dark Tower) – the list goes on and on. Here to add to it are two books tied in to the Stephen King Universe – one a blast from the past, the other a look at what should have been the beginning of a bright future.
Originally published back in 1982 at the same time as its cinematic release, the classic Stephen King graphic novel Creepshow has been reprinted for the first time in decades by Simon & Schuster. The timing couldn’t have been more appropriate, as the artwork for Creepshow comes from the pencil of the great and now sadly gone Bernie Wrightson. The co-creator of Swamp Thing, and a regular illustrator of King’ work, including his contributions to King’s Cycle of the Werewolf, Wrightson died this year after a long and continuous battle with ill health. His influence on generations of artists has never been in doubt, and it’s wonderful to have his and King’s tribute to the EC comics of their youth readily available for a new generation of horror fans eager to dig in. The graphic novel features the five stories that made up the original film, which was directed by another master who left us this year, George A. Romero.