Saturday, 26 February 2011

Events: 4th Screamin' Athens Horror Film Festival

Poster by Dimitris Karaiskos
This entry is for all you darling devils in Greece☆ The Screamin' Athens Horror Film Festival is back for it's 4th undead rising, you lucky, lucky horrors, you! It's taking place on March 18th & 19th at Gagarin 205, featuring over 20 films, music from Death Rock Greece, an aftermidnight live by Bohren & The Club of Gore, an exhibition from Horrorism, FX by Disturbed Twins and more! So get ready to be scared to death...they love to hear you scream!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Interview: Robin Sandiford // Zomblicity

Robin Sandiford, one half of the Manchester-based creative duo behind the new sci-fi horror webcomic 'Zomblicity', recently took some time out to answer some questions for HSL. Read on to find out how the comic began, where it's heading, how Robin would fight real zombies and much more!

1. Firstly, thank you for doing this interview. Could you introduce Farcreazy Fahad and yourself for anyone who's not familiar with your work?

[I’m a] writer and blogger, who loves to write non-linear scary stories. I love graphic novels, books and am a bit of a film obsessive.

Fahad is a multi-talented digital and hand drawn pencil artist who loves creating and drawing his own characters to perfection and I’m hoping to work with Fahad in the future again on other projects.

2. What made the two of you decide to work together?
Had you collaborated on any projects together before?

No, this is our first collaboration. We met through another artist called Libby Vickers (she’s an excellent digital artist!) who kindly pointed me in Fahad’s direction. After sending him my script, he was as passionate as I was about visualising it as a comic. I thought it would be too complex to represent in comic-form, but he took it away and made some rough character sketches which totally blew me away (These can be found on the Facebook page and website). After meeting up and chatting about it a few times, Fahad was then happy enough to go and draw up a rough sketch to issue 1 & 2.

3. The comic is currently on part two of its second issue, but how/when did you first come up with the idea for it?

It was about a year and a half ago. I was waiting for the Metrolink one Morning when I started to imagine a Zombie outbreak, and thought what it’d be like. I also thought the metro might make quite a unique opening setting for a film/comic, a lot of people would be condensed in that one place all travelling, and consequently many would get infected in a short space of time. I later started to think more about the story and develop it, but at the time of its conception it was a linear story pattern with both the Zombie and Human version of the lead protagonist co-existing in the same timeframe and subsequently running face-to-face into each other towards the end.

Incidentally, I ran into a lot of problems with the linear story and there didn’t seem to be a lot of logic to why there would be two existing together. So I needed to re-think the whole concept....Then it hit me, why not have a duplicate storyline where the timeline inadvertently broke into ‘two’ somewhere along the way...Still with us? well, basically the story is built on the notion that, for example; one day you’re running late for work and you might get a bit of a telling off, put it this way...being may also save your life, it’s all about how every action (however insignificant) has a consequence and our comic gives you an insight into both scenarios. It terms of where we are at present, I’ve just finished writing the last issue of volume 3.


4. How did you come up with the title 'Zomblicity'?

The title came together quite easily actually, the story however wasn’t so easy. To cut a long story short.. I came up with the title once I had the story in place, it’s kind of a play on words, an amalgamation of a few meanings with the idea of a duplicate storyline running throughout. The reason for this I assure you, will all become clear in the near future.

5. Why do you think zombies have become such a popular theme recently?

I think Zombies have always been a popular cult interest genre, ever since Romero I think they are popularity has soured since the success of the AMC TV show ‘The Walking Dead’(which by the way is superb!) and Video Games like, ‘Dead Rising’, ‘Left 4 Dead’ and with the success of the new ‘Dead Island’ trailer. More and more seems to be coming out and I can only think due to the trend that it isn’t going to go anywhere soon.

6. Do you like zombie/sci-fi horror movies? Do you have any favourites?

Yes, I love Zombie films in general and fully admit to being a bit of a sci-fi geek too. George A. Romero will always be a favourite of mine for obvious reasons. Since Romero created this genre defining concept, I don’t think anyone else has really explored the idea of it enough. Every time something new is brought to the table, it’s often Romero himself who re-invents it once more (see the recent 2007 Diary of the Dead). In terms of genre defining, I think Fulci was a legend, the make-up effects by Gianetto de Rossi are something else and this is pretty much as influential on modern Zombie films as the original ‘Dawn of the Dead’ was.

Going back to sci-fi, I grew up on Star Trek and Dr Who and remember getting to see one of the Pertwee shows live in Manchester, which was a momentous occasion. In terms of modern day sci-fi, I could never get enough of the TV show Lost, I’m still living with a hole it left my life (oh and no, I’m not a bitter Lost fan either!). My love of all things sci-fi related meant that I didn’t just want to pick on Horror for the comic, so I borrowed a few influences from watching years of my favourite shows.


7. Will 'Zomblicity' zombies be different from those featured in other horror comics, series and movies?

At the moment, there’s not a lot I can tell you without spoiling things for you. It terms of their look, we tried to [make them different] 

Early concept sketch of the zombies
We wanted the Zombies (as well as all the other characters) to have a distinctive look, very pale almost as if they are physically starving for blood and some more hulk-like with the torn clothing. The Zombies are without a doubt, stronger and meaner than ever before seen. We’ve only really seen the more docile type so far, but what if they were evolving? I would be asking the question, will this strength be something ‘other’ survivors might be keen to harvest to possibly aid their survival?

Think something along the lines of the Vampires in Matheson’s ‘I Am Legend’. When the human race has all but died out, and all that’s left are Zombies... in the words of Jurassic Park..... “Life expands to new territories. Painfully, perhaps even dangerously. But life finds a way."


8. Curtis, the main character so far, seems to be aware of the time jumps at some points. Is he aware of the events in both storylines, or does he simply know that time 'stands still'?

Well, in timeline 1, he’s more precarious and doesn’t really get chance to acknowledge that time has stopped as he is bitten. But certainly, in timeline 2 he’s more and observant of thing things around him. The outbreak in timeline 2 seems to have already happened so he’s piecing things together. Will Curtis become aware there is a parallel timeline? Will they collide at some point?


9. As well as dealing with vicious zombie attacks, the story seems to have a sense of humour to it as well. Is that something you had always intended or just something that developed with the characters' personalities?

Not originally, but I loved some of the funny little quirky elements Fahad added within the first sketches and it made me think about lowering the tone a little bit and making it slightly less depressing. I mean it still has moments when the tone shifts and when the mood becomes a bit more serious, particularly in issue 3 when the tone is very melancholy.

10. Are the writing processes for your short film scripts with Moving Echo and 'Zomblicity' similar, or do you approach them in completely different ways?

The filmmaking process is a lot more complex, it requires a lot of planning/structure and you have to be practical with realist views in relation to budget when coming up with ideas. With Moving Echo we like to bounce ideas off each other to see how things work. I usually write a rough script and then we rewrite it together. With Zomblicity I have the freedom of the Reins if you like, and can throw anything in there (however ridiculous and illogical it may seem) because it’s not budget reliant. I could throw Godzilla in and it would still be doable. Think of it as blank canvas, your free to do whatever you want with it.


11. What influences and inspires you both when writing/drawing?

Fahad always enjoyed drawing characters from very early ages. His first inspiration came from the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles series and then later the Street Fighter series and also takes inspiration heavily from Japanese Manga/Art. He began drawing characters from an early age and it was clear he had an eye for it. He liked to replicate all his favourite Street Fighter characters. He eventually decided he wanted to take inspiration and create his own individually unique characters. He followed Art right up from High School and attended John Moore’s University in Liverpool.

He also likes to draw inspiration not just from friends, but from familiar locations. With Zomblicity he wanted to pull in from Manchester various landmarks and reference points so people could relate to the comics. Although this isn’t officially a Zombified Manchester, it does have particular landmarks (The Metrolink and the big wheel) that are instantly recognisable. We will be bringing more familiar locations in very soon, so stay tuned.

I like to write stories and characters based on my experiences and myself. There is a little bit of myself in Curtis. When I write I put myself in the reader/viewers position and think, what would they like to see in a story? I like to fuse as many genres together in the hope that there’s something for everyone. In Zomblicity there’s a romance between the central characters, there’s a bit of gore/horror and of course it’s a Sci-Fi premise. These are all things I know that I would want to see.

I’ve also got a bit of a penchant for non-linear story patterns. This probably stems from my favourite books (Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five & Chuck Palahniuk’s Survivor). I like to read something unpredictable and like to feel as though I won’t know where the hell I’ll be when I turn the page.

12. Do you have an idea from the start what each character will look like, or do they change drastically in the planning stages?


Chuck

Farcreazy Fahad was integral in the development of the main characters. He was in charge of ALL the character art that you see. He even brought one of his own characters from one of his other projects; Chuck was a character he completely devised on his own whom I later wrote into the story. From the clothing (Curtis with the distinctive Hat & suit jacket) to the expressions, these were all reference points that he used from friends and family. He was very precise with the look of them too. I think the characters did change over time, certainly from the first drafts anyway. Jo for example has been made much more angelic and fragile and this is detrimental to the story, sometimes it’s the unlikely hero that succeeds so her look was vital in the early issues.


13. Is it fun to be able to show the same person in two different storylines?

Absolutely, it’s the most interesting part to write. I love being able to play around with them and see how each action shapes the path they choose. Some characters will no doubt become better people in one storyline and in the other we will see them regress. By the time we get to volume 2, we’ll have two story patterns with two separate sets of characters that have gone completely different ways. They’ll be so different, I think if both sets ever came face-to-face with each other, I doubt they would even recognise themselves anymore.


14. If there were a real zombie apocalypse tomorrow, which of you do you think would survive the longest?

We’ve both got different attributes that might aid our survival skills. I know I’m a bit of a hoarder, so maybe one day I’ll have collected valuable objects that I can throw at Zombies when they attack me in my home. My hardback Walking Dead books must surely pack a punch or two!


15. Ideally, would you like to get 'Zomblicity' printed in book form, or do you prefer the freedom that publishing the webcomic yourselves gives you?

Absolutely, although it’s a whole new kettle of fish when it comes to getting a publishing deal, this becomes the point when you have to start charging. We do have plans to go to print with the first nine issues when they are complete. We’ll probably sell these on our site or independently through a partner’s site. I’d welcome a publishing deal but I’d still like to keep the online comics FREE, as we believe that’s the way webcomics should be. We’re certainly looking at printing these at the moment as people like to collect things and have a copy in their hand to appreciate the Art (I know I do!).


16. When can we expect the next issue?

Work is about to start on issue 3. I’d say it should be ready for mid-March, no later. We were discussing ways of making the art stand out even further, Fahad wants to utilise the environments more and bring in some effects like rainfall, to give it a more gloomier look (certainly not out of place in Sunny Manchester anyway). In relation to what is happening in issue 3, I can tell you that the setting will shift in both timelines to 3 months later. So we will get to see how the characters have adapted to this new Post-Apocalyptic environment.

Curtis’s fate in timeline 1? ..who knows!! Can we safely say he’s a Zombie for sure after the bite? And has Jo got it in her to be able to cope in the wilderness without him?


17. Are either of you working on any other projects at the moment?

I’m helping to work on a couple of short film’s at the minute, one called ‘Echoes’ and ‘Time to Kill’. As well as my busy day job!

Fahad is working with two other friends at setting up a T-Shirt design company.


18. Could you give a message to any 'Zomblicity' fans out there?

I would just like to firstly thank Lilia for doing the amazing feature/review and also giving us the opportunity to do this interview.

We’d also like to thank Ry McDermott for supporting the comic in a big way from day 1, all the people who follow us on Twitter and anyone else that’s supported us so far. We’ve only recently launched issue 1 and the response has been immense and we feel truly honoured that people enjoy it and like to spread word. All I want to say now is stay tuned; we’re working hard to get the next lot of issues to you and enhancing everything all the time. We really believe the story is that good, we want you around for it as it progresses. There’s some huge stuff happening throughout volume 1 which you won’t believe you eyes when it happens and as for the final issue to it...let’s just say it’s a pretty significant event that will change everything.

 
A big thank you to Robin Sandiford for the interview, information & permission to use pictures.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Events & Movies: Brighton Shocks!

Brighton Shocks!

Great news for horror movie fans in the UK - the Caroline of Brunswick pub in Brighton will be hosting Brighton Shocks!, a season of extreme cinema, in March. Each night features a different film and starts at 8:30pm. The screenings are sure to be great fun for seasoned horror movie fans and newcomers to the genre alike and, even better, entry is absolutely free! Of course, due to the nature of the featured content, entry to all screenings is 18+.

Screening dates:
  • I Spit In Your Grave (2010) - 2nd March
  • Thriller:A Cruel Picture (1973) - 7th March
  • Video Nasties documentary (2010) - 8th March
  • Don't Go In The House (1980) - 9th March
  • Fight For Your Life (1977) - 10th March
  • The Beyond (1981) - 13th March
  • The New York Ripper (1982) - 14th March
  • Touch of Death (1988) - 16th March
  • The Untold Story (1993) - 17th March
  • The Isle (2000) - 20th March
  • Grotesque (2009) - 21st March
  • I Saw The Devil (2010) - 23rd March
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - 24th March
  • Thundercrack! (1975) - 27th March
  • Seul Contre Tous (I Stand Alone) (1998) - 30th March
  • Enter The Void (2010) - 31st March

News via: Cyberschizoid

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Comics: Zomblicity


'Zomblicity' Issue I Cover

Last year, the new zombie-themed UK webcomic 'Zomblicity', by writer Robin Sandiford and illustrator Farcreazy Farid was launched. You might be thinking "there's already so many zombie stories around right now, why should I read this?" and you'd be right to ask that, because it is a popular genre at the moment. However, 'Zomblicity' is different because it takes the usual idea of an undead apocalypse and, using something of a parallel universe twist, allows the reader to see the same character's story, through two separate perspectives - zombie and human.

The main character is Curtis in both plotlines but, he's a zombie in one reality and a suvivor in the other. The difference between the scenarios that causes this change? In the human take, he wakes up half an hour late, doesn't get bitten by a zombie and learns to fight the infected instead.  Having said that, he does seem aware of the time shifting at some points, so perhaps there will be something more to events than it first seems.

'Zomblicity' Issue I
The illustration is good too and fits well with the story. Even though there's a lot going on, layout-wise, on some pages, it gives the action a more film-like quality. Indeed, the whole first issue seems a little like a very detailed film storyboard rather that a comic, or perhaps even a Japanese manga, with its random-angled frames and showing of multiple shots of the same event. That isn't a bad thing at all though. In fact, whether it was intentional or not, it again adds another aspect of duplicity, this time, within the same timeframe.

'Zomblicity' already seems promising and is getting better as it continues and the characters develop more. I'm looking forward to seeing how it progresses over the next issues as more personalities and storylines emerge. For a sneak peak at some characters to come, take a look in the 'Art' section on the website.

If you'd like to find out more, or read Issues I - II part 2, you can check out 'Zomblicity' below:

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Toys & Art: Abomination Nursery Pinhead Doll

Pinhead 14" Custom Doll
Abomination Nursery currently have a few new dolls on display on their website, including this rather wonderful custom of Pinhead from 'Hellraiser'. The doll is 14" tall, made of vinyl and features real metal pins in the head. The outfit, too, is custom-made.

Pinhead Close-up
I don't know about you, but I think he looks way more sinister in doll form! To see more shots of this doll, or view the rest of the pieces from Abomination Nursery, check their Official Website.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentine's Day: Top 15 Creepy Couples Part 2

As promised, here's part 2 of our Valentine's Day special: Creepy Couples!
(There will probably be spoilers on this page!)

Edward Scissorhands & Kim
Up next, more Tim Burton and Winona Ryder. This time she plays Kim, the teenage daughter of Peg Boggs, the Avon lady that brings Edward (Johnny Depp) home after finding him living in isolation in a mansion on a hill. Within this part dark fantasy, part 'Romeo & Juliet', part 'Frankenstein', part unpopular new guy gets pretty girl-style movie, Edward & Kim's romance blossoms slowly and ends the only way it actually could - the strange, nice young man that can't age goes back to his mansion and Kim settles down, has kids and gets old, only remembering Edward when it snows *violins*. Oh, but don't think this means you can make fun of it now; it's been a favourite with me (Lilia) since childhood :P

Thomas & Ellen Hutter
For the German Expressionist horror, 'Nosferatu', we decided not to choose Count Orlok (Max Schreck, the movie's equivalent of Count Dracula, for those of you who haven't seen it) but instead we're going to present Thomas & Ellen Hutter (played by Gustav von Wangenheim & Greta Schröder, based on Jonathan & Mina Harker). Just look at his disturbing smile and her shifty eyes...there's obviously something more going onto this story than just a vampire Count! There's also no doubt that they're in love but there's touch of tragedy to them too, as Ellen is eventually killed by Count Orlok as she sets a trap for him. So sad, but at least he stopped grinning like that...


Imhotep & Princess Ankh-es-en-amon/Helen Grosvenor
High priest Imhotep (Boris Karloff) returns from the grave, set on reincarnating the soul of his beloved Princess Ankh-es-en-amon (Zita Johann), in the 1932 film, 'The Mummy'. Conveniently enough, his Princess-pie just happens to look exactly like Helen Grosvenor! It's quite unfortunate though, because it's his sole reason for liking her, but yet again, the girls just don't like Karloff. :(

Frederick & Annabelle Loren
Eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) invites five people to a party he's throwing for his fourth wife Annabelle. Sounds nice, until Frederick explains that they will each be given 10,000 dollars, if they can last the night, with the shares of anyone who doesn't being divided amongst the other guests. Don't let her smile and his...vaguely disgusted look...fool you, these two have some serious marital issues going on! When they're not trying to kill each other, they're hurling semi-offensive insults and pulling hair. Example of a couple in love if ever there was one.

Hannibal Lecter & Clarice Starling
Now for another anniversary! 'The Silence of the Lambs', from which our next creepy couple comes, is 20 years old today! It was then that audiences first saw the slightly strange but engrossing chemistry develop on screen between serial killer Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) and young FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster). With his high IQ and knowledge of psychology, he uses Clarice's inexperience to exploit her vulnerabilities and becomes much closer to her because of it. However, she gains vital clues about the cases she's working on by speaking with Lecter and the pair develop a mutal respect. Although Lecter does seem to fall slightly in love with Clarice, she never overtly returns those feelings,  and always remains slightly wary of him. Ah the perils of being involved with a serial killer cannibal. We've all been there...right?

Jack & Wendy Torrance
The married couple in Stanley Kubrick's psychological horror, 'The Shining', Jack & Wendy Torrance, seem to have a close, loving relationship in the beginning. That is until they move to The Overlook hotel whilst it's closed for the winter. Their son begins experiencing psychic and paranormal phenomena and Wendy soon becomes aware that Jack's not the same man she married anymore, when he starts typing reems of the same sentence and becomes highly agitated for no reason. This culminates in Wendy and her son being chased with an axe by her once loving husband. Nothing says Valentine's like a near death experience dealt out by that special someone :D
Candyman & Helen Lyle
'Candyman''s eponymous villain and graduate student Helen Lyle don't know each other at first. In fact, Helen doesn't even believe that Candyman exists, so her and her friend call out his name five times into her bathroom mirror. Nothing happens that day, but soon Helen becomes aware that she's being preyed upon by Candyman, who says he wants her to "be my victim, join me in death". That might all be quite romantic if it was in a vampire movie, only, this isn't one. This movie is about Candyman, who wants Helen to sacrifice herself to him so that his legend, and in turn he, can live on. There is some sort of strange fondness going on here, including a kiss, but we should probably mention that he also has hundreds of bees pouring out of his mouth at the time too. The Valentine's gift that keeps on giving...ouch!

Ash Williams & Linda
So, last but not least...Ash & Linda from 'The Evil Dead'; a movie about a trip to a cabin in the woods that goes horribly wrong when five friends unwittingly unleash a hoard of Candarian demons. Ash sees both his sister and two friends possessed before the same fate befalls his beloved girlfriend Linda. She goes from lovey-dovey to singing creepy songs and tormenting Ash pretty quickly (normal relationship right?), but even after she tries to stab him he still won't dismember her with a chainsaw (essential for demon killing, doncha know?). See, despite all his "hey baby"'s and foolishness, when it comes to Linda, he's a decent guy! Uh..that is, until she rises from the grave and attacks him. Then he chops her head off with a shovel : D True love!

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Valentine's Day: Top 15 Creepy Couples Part 1

Ah, Valentine's Day...it's pretty unappealing, from its cardboard candy-filled smugness, right down to its heart, which seems to only be full of cheesy cards, dreadful songs and hideous romantic comedies these days. Nevertheless, even in the world of horror and fantasy there's romance, so Erinia Spooky and myself (Lilia Tombs) have put together a list of some of our favourite creepy couples to mark the occasion!

Count Dracula & Mina
Originally a character created by Irish writer Bram Stoker, Dracula has become one of the most famous and enduring horror characters ever. Numerous films have been made starring the Count, but we're focusing on Dracula and Mina's doomed pairing in 'Dracula' (1931), with Bela Lugosi and Helen Chandler, marking the 80th anniversary of the movie today! You might believe Mina was under hypnosis whilst looking into Dracula's "two red eyes", but we're not buying it. Maybe next time you should choose a guy that doesn't leave hickeys!

Jack Skellington & Sally
Arguably Tim Burton's most popular characters, Jack Skellington and Sally appeared in 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'. Although they're not strictly horror characters, the King of Halloween Town and the kind and devoted Sally defintely have a place in this list, and in our hearts!

Gomez & Morticia Addams
Now to our favourite couple - Gomez and Morticia Addams of The Addams Family - perpetually in love, in each others arms and insane! They're both gorgeous, confident, bizarre and make being married with kids seem almost appealing (almost)! If you're going to shove your love affair in everyone's faces today, this is undoubtedly the best way to do it. Perfect!

Chucky & Tiffany
From the fourth installment of the Child's Play franchise, 'Bride of Chucky', comes Tiffany! Her love hate relationship with Chucky, is violent, bloody, crazy and, thanks to a "Voodoo curse", doll-shaped. Definitely everything a horror relationship should have. Bloody romantic!

The Monster & Bride of Frankenstein
Now to another relationship with a bride...The Monster (Boris Karloff) and The Bride (Elsa Lanchester), in James Whale's superb sequel to 'Frankenstein', 'The Bride of Frankenstein'. The Bride isn't exactly a willing participant in the pairing (and by this we mean she screams and hisses at the sight of him), but technically she had just been born. Well anyway, her loss, because we don't think you "belong dead", Mr. Monster. No, we love you!

Lily & Herman Munster
Not quite so involved with each other as Gomez & Morticia, but still very sweet, Herman & Lily Munster are the next on our list. They first appeared back in 1964 in 'The Munsters' second pilot episode - the first episode having Herman married to a Morticia-esque wife called Phoebe instead. (Maybe that explains why their son is a werewolf?) Still, ignoring the hidden wife and Eddie's questionable parentage, this creepy couple are about as wholesome and innocent as it gets in the world of horror. Aww...

Betelgeuse & Lydia
Starring Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder, 'Beetlejuice' is another  movie from Tim Burton, featuring the delightfully "strange and unusual" Lydia and the "ghost with the most". After he's called from the grave by his name being said three times, the young girl Lydia is almost forced to marry him in order to save her recently deceased friends, the Maitlands (er, it's better than it sounds, honest). Whilst Lydia seems unattracted to anyone at all, her groom will take anyone female; more than one if he can. Not exactly a perfect match, but we still think it's a great couple! Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Be..tter not just in case! ;)


More to come in Part 2!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Events: Sir Christopher Lee Given BAFTA Fellowship

BAFTA (The British Academy of Film and Television Arts) are honoring Sir Christopher Lee today, for his outstanding contribution to film by making him an Academy Fellow. He'll join the likes of other BAFTA Fellows such as Alfred Hitchcock (1971), Sir Alec Guinness (1989), Dame Maggie Smith (1996), Sir Anthony Hopkins (2008) and many other greats from the world of film & television. I'm sure I don't need to explain to any of you who Sir Christopher is, since he's been in so many films (over 250 since 1948!), but just in case you don't know....during his long career, he's played roles as varied as Frankenstein's Monster, Count Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Lord Summerisle ('The Wicker Man'), Saruman ('Lord of the Rings'), Jinnah and Count Dooku (Star Wars).

Daily Express article about the Fellowship
Even though he's said in interviews that whilst he's thankful for his roles in horror, he's not really fond of the genre, he's still one of my favourite actors to have appeared in it and a very inspirational person. Congratulations Sir Christopher~!

BAFTA article

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Events: Horror/Creepy Tea Parties for Charity


'Terrifying Tea Party!' by Michelle Souliere

Okay, first of all I need to point out that if you've somehow found your way to this entry looking for something to do with politics, you should leave now, as this is absolutely not what you're looking for. However, if you're here looking for a way to host a fantastic and horror-themed tea party, whilst raising money for a worthy cause, then this is the place for you!

That out of the way, I should probably preface this by telling you that in addition to loving all things scary and strange, I also adore animals. So for that reason, I'm posting this entry. Between April 2nd and May 2nd 2011, UK animal charity, The Blue Cross, are holding fundraising tea party events across the country and are encouraging people to sign up and hold tea parties of their own. So why not make yours have a horror/zombie/Halloween etc. theme, and have some fun whilst raising money? If you're not in the UK, or would prefer to support a different cause, then all you have to do is send/give the money you raise to a charity or organisation that you would like to help.





Some theme ideas for your creepy tea party might include:

  • Horror - have an event with movie screenings, horror music, creepy horror villain-inspired food etc. You can make the theme horror in general, or pick a specific movie/series/book etc. to base it on. You could even get your guests to dress up as their favourite characters!
Skeleton Cake made by me
  • Halloween - use any Halloween decorations to make your venue look like it was October 31st all over again! Use cupcake holders with spooky designs,  creepy cake decorations, tableclothes with ghosts/bats/pumpkins printed on and eerie theme music to set the scene.
  • Zombies - get your gory brain props and special effects make-up out and transform yourself, your family and your friends into undead ghouls! if your event is indoors, you could show zombie movies or if it's outdoors, you could even organise a mini-zombie lurch to go with it!
  • Nosferatu
    Vampires - this will vary depending on what kind of vampires you like; zombie-esque ones from traditional mythology, Nosferatu-esque vampires who aren't like zombies, but aren't quite like modern takes on them, gothic horror vampires like Bela Lugosi in Dracula or Christopher Lee in the early Hammer Dracula movies, "sexy" vampires etc. etc. You'll need to change your decor accordingly, but the essential thing about this is, BLOOD! (Or at least something that looks like it) All vampires want that ;)
    'Future Mad Scientists of America' by
    John "Jay" Glenn
  • Victorian Curiosities / Mad Scientist's Lab - these have been put together because for curiosities and labs you will need specimens in jars, strange looking items, weird and wonderful medical paraphernalia and so on. Obviously for the curiosities theme, it's essential that your table and decor choices are in-keeping with the Victorian era, just as the lab has to have a vaguely inventor/medical experiment feel, but there are actually quite a few variations on each. For example, Victorian circus or Steampunk lab. 

  • Creepy Cute - if you like your bloody, padded room-dwelling pyschos mixed with fluffy teddies, polka dots, stripes and large eyes, then creepy cute is a perfect for you! Examples of this style are the paintings/drawings of Junko Mizuno and Mark Ryden, the games 'Plants vs. Zombies', 'MediEvil' and 'Grim Fandango' and 'American McGee's Alice', the series/game 'Gregory Horror Show', Living Dead Dolls and most of Tim Burton's more popular movies. Think pretty pink cakes with gory eyeball decorations, teddy bears with disturbing smiles, bright candies and lollipops scattered in a graveyard, friendly monsters...anything of that kind.

There are, of course, many other theme ideas and there's no reason why you couldn't have a combination tea party, these were just for inspiration. With all of the themes, use a tea, such as pomegranite and raspberry, with a red tinge and serve in horror/skeleton themed cups to bring the whole event together.



'Tea Party with guest Mauley the Zombie Doll' by Shain Erin

For tutorials, shopping and more ideas, see the blog sections below. We'll be updating these regularly, so keep checking! Alternatively, if there's something you really want to see, but we haven't covered it yet, ask us for a tutorial and we'll get on it!

Movies: Scream 4

Hello there, my little monsters!
A few days ago I talked about the Ghostbuster's new sequel... well, looks like this is the sequel's year!
This time, I'm talking about the 4th Scream sequel! Scream 4 will be released the 15th of April this year, just a little waiting left!
If you want to start enjoying, here's the official website where you can watch its trailer!



Friday, 11 February 2011

Food and Drink: Mr. & Mrs. Bones Cakes Tutorial

Firstly, I should point out that Valentine's Day is not really something I care about one way or the other. I don't think I've ever celebrated it, but I don't hate it either. It's just kind of....there. However, if you're going to mark the occasion, why not do so in horror-themed style? Or at least give the object of your affection matching skeleton cakes!

Mrs. & Mr. Bones cakes
If you can't or have no wish to bake cakes, then don't worry, this entry is all about how to decorate store-bought slices! You can either decorate one of each, or two of the same depending on your relationship and, you can even customise the accessories to make them more personal to your darling devil. to top it off, they're really simple too!

How-to guide after the cut below↓

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Movies: Ghostbusters... 3!

Yes! You're reading it right, little monsters!
After all these years, a 3rd sequel of the famous "Ghostbusters" movie is going to be released.
And as the previous ones, it'll be directed by Ivan Reitman.
The cast? Some of the names are Anna Faris, Eliza Dushku and... of course, Bill Murray!
It's going to be released the 25th of December, 2012. Such an awesome Christmas gift don't you think? ;)
As you all will have noticed by now, I'm pretty excited about this :P Such a classic of my childhood coming to life again!

And you, little monsters? What do you expect from this threequel? ;)!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Commercials & Advertising: General Mills Monster Cereals

Monster Cereals! (Photo by moomoobloo)
Another post about ads; this time, General Mills' monster cereals! Since I was only in the US between 6 weeks and 4 years old, I never got to have these, but I -have- seen the adverts, which are cheesy and cute! Why don't we have horror-themed cereals in the UK?!  *sad face* It's not made by General Mills, but I guess we have Sugar Puffs with the Honey Monster as their mascot. He's fairly weird and scary!

Tell 'em about the Honey, Mummy!

The General Mills monster cereals were/are:

Count Chocula
(Vampire voiced by Larry Kenney doing a Bela Lugosi impersonation)
Count Chocula box, photo by amoebafinger

Franken Berry
(Monster voiced by Bob McFadden doing a Boris Karloff impersonation)
Franken Berry box, photo by amoebafinger

Boo Berry
(Ghost voiced by Paul Frees doing a Peter Lorre impersonation)
Boo Berry box, photo by Roadsidepictures

Fruity Yummy Mummy
(Mummy)
Fruity Yummy Mummy makes your tummy go yummy! Heh hehheh!

Fruit Brute
(Werewolf)
Fruit Brute, with the hoooowling good taste of fruit!

I don't know who voiced Fruity Yummy Mummy or Fruit Brute, but whoever did FYM sounds like Wednesday 13 (or rather, he sounds like them)...Heh heh heh! Videos are after the cut. I've even included a Sugar Puffs commercial for you, because even though I don't like the product, the Honey Monster is my friend!
(Oh, and before you tell me how bad for children these cereals are and that they shouldn't be promoting them to children, you should know that a) I don't care, b) I assume children don't buy their own cereal, so it doesn't matter and, c) there are far worse things for you to worry about than sugary breakfasts, trust me.)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

TV: Zombies take over GLEE!

Hey there little monsters!
It's been a long time since my last entry! I promise to start posting again more often~ ^^;!!!
Well, I bring you zombies this time!
You all may already know about the TV show called "Glee".
If not, this is a good time to take a look!

The last episode was dedicated to one of our favourite subjects....
braaaaaaaiiiiiiiinssssss!!!
Yeah! a zombie episode! *jumps of happiness*
And they did quite a good job! In the episode you can watch them covering songs like the Zombie's classic "She's Not There" or a super good mash-up of the famous "Thriller" by Michael Jackson and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Heads Will Roll". Of course, all performed in a zombie way, choreography included!


Nothing more to say, if you're curious, go & check out episode 2x11!
But because I'm thaaaaat great, I brought you the whole Thriller + Heads will roll performance in advance (~_^)
Enjoy, little monsters!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Commercials & Advertising: The Munsters Cheerios Commercial

"Big G Little o...Cheerios!"
I cannot believe I'd never seen this before today. Evidently, I was born a few decades after it aired, but still!


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Fashion & Shopping: The Ultimate Horror Contact Lense Guide!

As I wear contact lenses quite often, I decided to share my secrets where I get my contact lenses! So this guide is ideal for those who are already planning their Halloween costume or who need something to oomph up their horror outfit for whenever! Or even for those who are wanting to be more GOREgeous!

I think it is best to start with the most common lenses, which are the normal sized ones. Younknowit offers a wide range of colour and crazy&horror lenses. Cheapest webshop I know of. They offer free worldwide shipping also. I am a youknowit-holic, so I've used their service without any kind of problems.

Now, let's talk about some seriously freaky contact lenses. And these lenses are for you, who are willing to pay a tiny bit more. If you are looking to really shock people with your horror themed look, there is a site that which makes such amazing theatrical lenses. 9mm SFX is a company that makes completely custom lenses. They require base curve and diameneter so they can make the lenses to fit your eye perfectly. 9mm SFX lenses are used in horror movies as well, since they are such good quality, and the gore effect they give. 

Needless to say, 9mm SFX is the ultimate source for your horror/undead/virus infected/vampire eyes.


Even though I am all for getting full eye contact lenses, if you are not used to wearing lenses, you will probably have problems getting them in.

All the photos in this blog entry are from 9mm SFX.
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