Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Left My Heart in Frankensteinia

My love affair with Mary Shelley's monster and his creator began in early childhood with late-night horror showings on television. I simply couldn't get the aesthetic of James Whale's 1931 classic out of my mind. With the addition of the hauntingly beautiful Elsa Lanchester as the monster's unwilling bride in the 1935 sequel, the Frankenstein Empire claimed a special place in my heart. I cherish the excitement, the fright, and the poignant sense of sadness that the films and literature send rushing through me when I think of Frankenstein's Monster. Did I mention that Bride of Frankenstein was released on my birthday?

Frankensteinia is an insightful collection of writings and imagery, lovingly compiled in honour of one of the most recognizable monsters the world has ever known. It is meticulously focused on: "Tracking Frankenstein and all things related in the arts, media and popular culture." I can spend (have spent) hours exploring the masterfully-crafted content featured on this brilliant blog.

Horror House: Treats!

At least 50% of the dastardly downloads I have searched for in the last month have been available through Horror House, a damn fine film blog lovingly tended by Vampirella. The selection of material available through her blog is easily one of (if not the) best I have had the pleasure of browsing through. Not only is there a great volume of treats on the table, but the quality and caliber of the films on offer are indicative of the webmistress' discerning eye for good old bloody horror.

Currently, my high speed cable modem is feasting on an order Witchery, a poorly plotted yet hightly entertaining flick with a witchy/Satanic flavour starring Linda Blair and David Hasselhoff. Perhaps the bizarre casting combination may be too much for my adult brain to handle?

This blog very quickly became one of my most hallowed haunts. Beware the overdose of blogflare, and dive in to the vast collection of films available (for preview purposes only). If you don't check out Horror House for yourself, do it for the demons lurking in the darkness, waiting for your resistance to be worn away by a steady diet of rot-gut horror.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fay Wray Come Out and Play

This was a very quick and dirty sketch of Fay Wray in a scene from King Kong that I did as a preliminary exercise for a painting. The painting turned out horribly, but I rather like how the sketch came out.

The sketch was rendered on a sheet of multi-purpose paper, using a Sharpie marker. How primitive!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Invoking Elsa Lanchester

I am not-so-secretly obsessed with Elsa Lanchester. Best known for her portrayal of the bride of Dr. Frankenstein's monster, hers is one of the few faces I could just sit and stare at all day. Her beauty is hypnotic: those massive, soulful eyes and her full, heart-shaped lips are more than enough to render me completely awestruck.

A couple of years ago, I determined that the one thing I enjoyed more than looking at Elsa Lanchester was painting her portrait. I find that it is very easy to lose myself in the contours of her face, and in her melancholy expressions. The exaggerated arch of her eyebrows serves as the climax of the piece for me, as the angle seems so severe as I am painting it, yet always looks beautiful, and delicate somehow upon completion.

The Bride
Acrylic on particle board

The Bride: Profile
Acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Brain That Controls

I made a horror movie once...

It was a dreary Sunday afternoon, and my sister and I had always discussed a self-produced horror film as a possible use of my camcorder, which has done little more than collect dust over the years. However, the idea of engaging in such a project is a shade or two different from the actual reality, and normally, we don't do much about our Big Ideas besides talk about them.

That day, that dreary Sunday afternoon, our dream became our reality.

For better or worse, I cannot be certain. Regardless of the as-yet-to-be-determined overall impact upon society, I present The Brain That Controls.

Caution: Fiercely foul language, chainsaw attacks, puppet sex, and a black metal ending!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

King Crimson Diamond

Further to my post of yesterday, I just happened to have this kicking around
on my hard drive, as well. There's got to be room in the Louvre
for King Crimson Diamond.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Color Me Satanic

This image is brought to you by my fascination with the music of my youth,
coupled with my intense love of King Diamond.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Posing With Evil Genius (Geniuses? Genii?)

I had never really thought that my list of Brushes With Celebrity was all that impressive. Upon hunting all my souvenir photographs down individually, one by one, for uploading to my web-based photo dumping warehouse, I have concluded that I've actually done pretty well for myself. I am the only person I know who has hugged the lovely and talented Bill Moseley on two separate occasions. The fact that I don't really know all that many people doesn't detract from my sense of accomplishment in the least.

Okay, so I may have included a few photos of people who aren't exactly known to have evil leaking from their pores. Just because these folks have never portrayed a crazed, murderous psychopath doesn't make them bad people.

Bill Moseley posing with me at Chiller Con 13 (New Jersey, USA)

Bill Moseley posing with my sister and I at
Rue Morgue Festival of Fear 2004 (Toronto, Canada)

Sid Haig posing with me at Chiller Con 13

Kane Hodder posing with me at Chiller Con 13

Andrew Bryniarski posing with my sister and I at
Rue Morgue Festival of Fear 2005 After-Party (*drunk*)

A really sweet pic of Tony Todd drinkin' his drink at
Rue Morgue Festival of Fear 2005 After-Party

Tony Todd posing (and drinking!) with my sister and I,
and some other d00d who has not given permission to appear on
Killer Kittens From Beyond The Grave

Doug Bradley at Rue Morgue Festival of Fear 2004
(we saw him *drunk* at the After-Party, but did not shutter-stalk him there)

Lloyd Kaufman and the Troma Team posing with my sister and I,
and some other d00d who has not given permission to appear on
Killer Kittens From Beyond The Grave

(I love this pic -- it's one of my all-time favourites)

Clive Barker with Jovanka Vuckovic of Rue Morgue Magazine at
Rue Morgue Festival of Fear 2005 (I met him, shook his hand, but didn't
get a picture of our intimate moment. Damned batteries!)

Terry and Dean (David Lawrence and Paul Spence) from FUBAR
posing with me, and some other d00d who has not given permission to appear on
Killer Kittens From Beyond The Grave

FUBAR isn't exactly a horror film, but that in no way interferes with its greatness.

Joey "Shithead" Keithley posing with me at his book signing at
Novel Idea (Kingston, Canada)

Joey "Shithead" Keithley performing with DOA at
Scherzo Pub (RIP) (Kingston, Canada)

Tickets to the Ministry concert I attended in 2007 (Ottawa, Canada).
Okay, so I didn't actually meet any of the band members, but I was front-row-center,
and Al Jourgensen totally looked at me. Sweet eye contact...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Midnight Meat Train: I Can't Wait To Get On!

At long last, a glimpse of something wicked this way coming. A horror film made by adults, for adults. And I only have to wait a few more months to see it!

It's been some time since fans of Clive Barker were treated to something so special as a new film based on the writings of the Modern Day Master of Horror. Midnight Meat Train is due to hit theatres August 1, 2008, and it looks like die-hard gorefiends and horrorhounds all over the world will have reason to be very, very happy this summer. The trailer is available on the official website, and from what I could gather from the clips, Midnight Meat Train is a nail-biting combination of a good, old fashioned suspense thriller, and a blood-soaked slasher film. The good folks at Bloody Disgusting have posted a teaser review on their site of an advance screening of the film.

The movie is based on Barker's short story of the same name, from Books of Blood Volume One, about a serial killer who stalks his victims on the subway. An unfortunate, young photographer captures one of the brutal slayings on film by accident. The characters look promising, although the cast is comprised of mostly lesser-known actors. Bradley Cooper (who has mostly worked in television, appearing in Alias, and a number episodes of Nip/Tuck) plays the photog, with Vinnie Jones (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch) assuming the role of the subway-slasher known as "Mahogany." For any celebrity-seekers out there, Brooke Shields appears in this film as an art snob looking for something unique to display in her gallery, and hires Jones to capture the untold stories of New York City.

Are buckets of blood and bone-chilling gore "unique" enough for ya, Brooke?

With many modern-day horror offerings rating high in teenage angst, and low in actual watchability, the fact that this movie looms on the horizon gives me reason to hope that more well-written, well-acted, adult horror films will begin to roll out. I am pleased to report that Midnight Meat Train comes complete with an R rating "for sequences of strong bloody gruesome violence, grisly images involving nudity, sexual content and language."

Those just happen to be a few of my favourite things. Yes, yes, yes!!!

Update (6/14/08): Lionsgate, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to release Midnight Meat Train in a limited number of theatres. Unless you happen to live near the 100-or-so movie houses expected to show the film, a visit to your friendly neighbourhood DVD outlet is in your future.

Update (11/16/08): Read Kitty's review of THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN!!!