Thursday 13 February 2014

Art & Events: Art Macabre Death Drawing Salons

Art Macabre death drawing salons are "macabre death drawing events in London and beyond. Creative salons resurrecting the art of life drawing with added theatricality." For around £10-£15, you can draw both male and female models - ranging from fully clothed in elaborate costumes, to painted in body make-up, to nude - posing in a variety of macabre scenes and settings, according to the theme of the evening. Drawing materials are also provided & attendees must be 18+.

Upcoming themes include Kiss of the Vampire (Sun. 16th Feb.), PUNK IS DEAD – MORTE COUTURE (Tue. 18th Feb.), Global Curiosities: Japan (Sat. 1st Mar.), MARDI GRAS: Masquerade Special (Tue. 4th Mar.), and Global Curiosities: India (Sat. 15th Mar.).

For more information, to buy tickets & to stay up to date with upcoming sessions you can visit the websites below:

Friday 7 February 2014

Events: Seriously Staked: Vampire Symposium

Seriously Staked: Vampire Symposium
Seriously Staked: Vampire Symposium 2014 is being is co-organised by ASSAP (the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena) and the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths College and will take place on Saturday, 8th March 2014, at Goldsmith's College, University of London, UK. 

The event features a number of guest speakers and...
"...brings together a wide variety of subject experts and academics to talk about a range of questions concerning vampires. These include: 
Can science explain vampires?
Do real vampire hunting kits exist?
How have vampires impacted western culture?
What is the crossover between vampires and other anomalous phenomena?
Was Transylvania vampirism a communist trick to attract tourists?
What is the London vampire community today?
Do real vampires exist?"

Early bird tickets cost £15, with regular ticket prices being £25; full-time students are eligible for free tickets.

To find out more information or to purchase tickets, you can visit the Seriously Staked website.

Event news found via The Spooky Isles Facebook Page.

Saturday 25 January 2014

Home Horror Decor: Mythos Magnets by Cryptocurium

Before I begin this entry, we just want to apologise for the temporary hiatus that the blog has been on for a little while. We're back and will post more regularly from now. So, on with the post!

Mythos Magnets by Cryptocurium
Photo credit: Cryptocurium
A couple of years ago, I made an entry about the H.P. Lovecraft-themed lollipops and sculptures by Cryptocurium, a one-man operation run by Jason McKittrick. Last year, he released a limited run set of Mythos Magnets. The set contained hand-cast resin magnets, featuring Yog-Sothoth, Mi-Go, Cthulhu, and the Necronomicon, and was limited to 100 pieces.
"Hand cast in solid resin by artist Jason McKittrick, Mythos Magnets depict four classic images from H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Each magnet measures approx. 4″ x 2″ and is available in both Bronze or Silver paint finishes.  (Coin shown for scale)"
For my birthday last year, I was very kindly bought a set of them, in silver (pictured below).
Clockwise from top left:
Yog-Sothoth, Mi-Go, the Necronomicon, Cthulhu
The casts are incredibly detailed, despite having a rough texture to them, both of which help to give a stone-like appearance from a distance. Close-up, however, it is easy to tell that they're made of resin, but it's also much easier to see the intricate details, which could easily be missed from further away. The resin is lightweight and durable, and the magnets are powerful enough that you never have to worry about them falling off the surface that they're attached to. 

The Necronomicon
McKittrick is based in New Jersey, but also accepts international orders as well. However, if you are thinking of buying something for a specific occasion, I would suggest that international buyers place their orders at least two months in advance, as there is a 2 - 6 week waiting period for all orders, with those outside the US likely to take longer to arrive due to the increased shipping time. Also, as each item is made to order by hand by one person, you'll need to keep that in mind when making your purchase. If you order during particularly busy times, such as the months before Halloween or Christmas, then it will probably take a little longer for the items to reach you.

Sadly, wave one of the Mythos Magnets has sold out now, but there are many other H.P. Lovecraft & Cthulhu-related horrors waiting to be called up from the depths of Cryptocurium...

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Music & Reviews: Welcome to the Horror Show by Sam Haynes

Track Listing:
1. All Hallows
2. Ghost House
3. Shadows
4. Scarecrows
5. Zombie
6. Doll House
7. Ghost Train
8. Midnight
9. Seance
10. 31-13
11. The Dark
12. Halloween Night
13. Midnight at the Funhouse
14. Endless Nightmare
15. Ghost House (Fettdog remix)
16. Scarecrows (Cheekyboy Dub)
17. Witching Hour
18. Spirit Box

Welcome to the Horror Show, the second album from Sam Haynes, is a collection of tracks that were created to be used in Halloween haunts and on horror movie soundtracks. There are sixteen individual pieces, plus two remixes; Fettdog's more aggressive remix of Ghost House and Cheekyboy's darker take on Scarecrows.

The album is very atmospheric throughout and tracks such as Ghost House, Spirit Box, Doll House, Midnight and 31-13 are particularly ominous and would be perfect for haunts and horror movies. There are, however, some more up tempo, danceable and almost "cute" tracks like Zombie, Halloween Night, Ghost Train, and Witching Hour, which would be great for Halloween parties and spooky fairgrounds.

While the influences of 70's, 80's and 90's horror soundtracks - everything from John Carpenter's Halloween and Christine scores to the Phantasm and Suspiria soundtracks by Fred Myrow/Malcolm Seagrave and Goblin respectively -  are overt, Sam Haynes manage to mix in their own brand of creepy to Welcome to the Horror Show as well. Many of the tracks have a familiar feel to them, but are simultaneously unique. 

Overall, Welcome to the Horror Show is an enjoyable and creepy album, with a great balance between horror-influenced scares and mischievous fun. It's definitely one for those with a love for movie scores and Halloween haunts.

Sam Haynes are giving away 5 free digital copies of Welcome to the Horror Show and all you have to do to win one is head over to their Facebook page and hit the "Like" button! Winners will be chosen at random on August 13th, 2013.


Thursday 25 July 2013

Books & Reviews: A Complete Guide to Special Effects Makeup: Conceptual Creations by Japanese Makeup Artists

I received A Complete Guide to Special Effects Makeup... as a present last year and I'm very grateful!
Acclaimed as the best book ever published on the subject, A Complete Guide to Special Effects Makeup covers everything from basic facial makeup styles, simple scars and gashes, to masks, molds and cast-making; everything you need to know to create vampires, zombies and other fantastical characters.  
Featuring step-by-step instructions, with hundreds of color photos, from makeup artist professionals who have worked on films such as Alien vs Predator and Land of the Dead
Whether you are a beginner preparing for a Halloween party, or a cosplayer interested in learning more complex techniques, this is the definitive guide.

"Cattleya" by Manabu Namikawa
Photo: Takuyuki Saito; Model: Marie
Beauty Make-up: Keizo
The first thing that hits you when you begin the book is the well-lit, absolutely stunning photographs of each make-up piece. They really give a sense of just how impressive these looks would be in person, as well as showing enough close-ups to see all the details.

"FBI Agent from Hell" by TOMO
It might seem doubtful that there are "hundreds of color photos" included in this collection, but once you reach the first project tutorial page, it becomes a lot more plausible. Every look shown also has a step-by-step tutorial, complete with concept drawings/ideas, tools needed, application techniques and, except in the case of full-face masks, photographs of the models before, after, and during the transformation process.

"Vampire Queen" by Akiteru Nakada & M.E.U.
There are four chapters in the book: 01: Basic Makeup and Cuts, Gashes & Scars; 02: Masks; 03: Making Molds; 04: Practical Application. In addition to providing how-to guides for the nine looks featured at the beginning of the book, there are also various guides for smaller, less time-consuming/complicated projects throughout. The projects include everything from basic beauty makeup and facial lacerations to accessory sculpting and mold making, all of which are very clear and easy to understand. There's also a "Special Effects Makeup Glossary" included at the end, which means that even complete novices will have no trouble understanding the terminology.

When the photographs finish, there is then an insightful interview with professional SFX makeup artist Yuuchi Matsui (Ringu, Ichi the Killer, The Happiness of the Katakuris, Pulse etc.) and the very last page includes short profiles of each of the makeup artists featured throughout the book.

"Executioner's Mask" by Keizo
Overall, this was a fantastic read and I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in SFX makeup!

"Goth & Loli Zombies" by Akiteru Nakada & M.E.U.
Photo: Takuyuki Saito
Models: Kancho & Mari

"Silene" by Manabu Namikawa

"Bud" by TOMO
Photo: Yosuke Komatsu Model: Marie
Beauty Make-up: Keizo
Costume: Yuta Okuyama & TOMO

Music & Reviews: Vacant Tombs & Full Moons by Tommy Creep

Track Listing:

1. Death Beach
2. More Zombie Than Zombie
3. Pull The Switch!
4. Electronic Voice Phenomena
5. The Gravediggers
6. Haunted House Party
7. The Cemetery (Creepy VIP)
8. Castle Dracula
9. The Cemetery (Original Mix, with Ghoulshow)
10. More Zombie Than Zombie (VIP)
11. Stiff Wagon

Label: Graveyard Calling

Release Date: 29th July, 2013

Vacant Tombs and Full Moons is the new album by Tommy Creep, being released through UK-based label Graveyard Calling Horror Records on July 29th, both in digital formats (via BandCamp) and on limited edition cassette tapes. The release consists of 11 horror EDM (electronic dance music) tracks, including The Cemetery (Original Mix), a collaboration with fellow Graveyard Calling artist, Ghoulshow. 

The album opens with the up-tempo EDM track Death Beach, which features samples from 1960's b-movie The Beach Girls and the Monster for vocals. The song - much like the movie it samples - has a fun, somewhat comical feel, with a spooky electronic organ being used to create a 60's beach vibe. 

From there, the album takes a darker tone with great use of samples from classic horrors and sci fis, such as The Day the Earth Stood Still, Atom-Age Vampire, The Corpse Vanishes and The Body Snatcher, among others. Sometimes the samples can be a little too long, and there are sometimes too many within one track. However, the samples create some interestingly creepy music; especially when intertwined with the glockenspiel, harpsichord and theremin synth melodies, and set to bass saws, occasional screams, squelches, evil laughs and all sorts of other horror sound effects.

If you're a fan of classic horror/sci-fi b-movies and EDM, you'll love this album and even if you don't, give Vacant Tombs and Full Moons a listen -  you might just change your mind!

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