Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Books: Vampires: From Dracula to Twilight - The Complete Guide to Vampire Mythology

'Vampires: From Dracula to Twilight - The Complete Guide to Vampire Mythology' by Charlotte Montague (author of titles including 'Pirates and Privateers' and 'Lady Charlotte Schreiber's Journals Confidences Of A Collector Of Ceramics And Antiques Throughout Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal') published by Sphere in March 2010 is a comprehensive 192 page hardcover about vampire mythology and its origins. Montague writes about vampire myths and legends, literature, film, vampire-devotees, serial killers and more.

Starting with the very first vampirc creatures in Eastern European folklore and covering everything from El Chupacabra to Elizabeth Bathory to Dracula to Twilight, the book is reasonably in-depth and a really interesting read. Whilst I am not fond of the Twilight books/films, I can understand why Montague chose to include them, as she was trying to illustrate how vampire mythology and the representation of vampires in popular culture have changed over the centuries and the psychology behind these changes. However, books such as Richard Matheson's 'I Am Legend' and 'The Vampire Chronicals' by Anne Rice are also given pages and this balances out the two or three pages given to things such as 'Twilight' and 'True Blood'.

Overall, this book is well written and researched, includes many historical facts and fictions from various countries and is very entertaining. One small warning to the squeamish of you out there: the descriptions of the crimes of serial killers such as Peter Kürten and Gilles de Rais are quite graphic, but apart from that, I would recommend 'Vampires' to everyone with an interest in the creatures of the night!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Scary Sounds: Halloween & Horror Music Part 1

We'll be continuing with our Halloween to-do list soon, but this entry is for those little horrors out there that prefer to have their own party on October 31st! So far, we've covered the decorations and costumes, but this time we're bringing you part one of our scary soundtrack! Some songs you'll know and love (or hate) and some you may have never heard before, but they all share creepy themes and possibly even a little spooky humour as well.

Part 1: Horror Punk & Psychobilly (Videos after the jump)

The Misfits - Shining
The Misfits - Halloween
The Creepshow - Zombies Ate Her Brain
Antiworld - Horror High
Zombie Ghost Train - R.I.P.
The Other - Beware of Ghouls

Next Time - Part 2: Horror Soundtracks!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Game: Dead Rising 2

I have often thought how scary giant lego men would be, even if armed with a paddle/chainsaw ensemble.
During my formative years, like many others I dreamed of killing zombies with giant dice. Although that has still yet to become a real life reality, I will soon get to test out its game effectiveness in a sequel to Dead Rising, developed by Blue Castle Games and published by Capcom!:

Long have I waited for THIS
"Welcome to Fortune City, the city with no limits. America's newest entertainment playground offers you the ultimate pleasure experience, and you can bet your life that playing and staying in Fortune City's incredible casinos is pure fun and games all the way." 

As protagonist Chuck Greene, you are given the chance to take on a variety of missions in Fortune City (think Las Vegas but with zombies). As before, tasks would be simple if the city wasn't full of the undead. By zombies I mean lots of zombies. The developer has stated that as many as 7000 can be onscreen at once, whereas Dead Rising only allowed a tiny 800. So of course there are lots and lots of enemies to kill!

Details of how to do this after the jump!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Videos: Trick 'r treat; the lore and legends of Halloween

Part 2

As that special night of the year when all things ghoulish break loose approaches, the "making of "trick 'r Treat" is out for fans that did not get the Blue-ray copy of the film.

Trick 'r Treat is a movie about the spirit of Halloween, personified by a mischievous little boy who lurks around, making sure you follow the rules of such marvelous holiday.

As David J. Skal (author of Death Makes a Holiday: a Cultural History of Halloween) brilliantly states, "Halloween is the Frankenstein of holidays... because it's stitched together from so many different traditions that's sometimes a little difficult to keep them all apart.

With interview of Director Michael Dougherty and cast, they elaborate on the traditions of the holiday, and how why it just might be a good idea to stay true to them.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Website: Pumpkinrot

Pumpkinrot is what Halloween is all about: ghouly, scary fun.
This haunting website has some amazing images of Halloween displays, from some magnificently horrific scarecrows, to graveyard setting that would make any scary celebration.

The creator and designer of Pumpkinrot invites visitors to admire his frightening creations, many of which are for sale at the site's shop.

For more pictures and catalog work, visit their website http://pumpkinrot.com/

Toys: Living Dead Dolls - Series 20 Red & Black Variants

"In the spirit of Halloween, Mezco's latest set of Living Dead Dolls pays tribute to the skeleton filled holiday known as The Day of the Dead or El Día de los Muertos. The variant series features intricate skull designs and exclusive crimson and black elaborate costumes, depicting traditional imagery with a Living Dead Dolls twist. Each doll comes in a signature coffin package with death certificate. This set is extremely limited and will ship in mid-October."
Sources: Mezco & LDD Network

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Halloween: Tokyo Dark Castle

Today, we're continuing our 'Things To Do On Halloween' list, with something for those of you in Japan this season. Tokyo Dark Castle is one of Tokyo's best known dark/gothic club events, with live music, DJs and VJs, plus one or two clothing brands or artists usually there as well.  The venue, Shinjuku MARZ, is a little on the small side, but actually it gave the two TDCs that I went to a good atmosphere.

In addition to the main event, there is also a Halloween Parade that starts at 22:30 (10:30pm) outside the CineCity plaza in Kabukichou. Everyone is encouraged to dress up and there's even a prize for best costume! Afterwards, you'll need to make your own way to MARZ for Dark Castle, but don't worry because it's also in the Kabukichou district of Shinjuku so it's not far.

You will need photo ID (passport / driver's liscence etc.) to get into MARZ and it is strictly an 18 plus event.

For line-up and directions to the venue, please check the following sites:

Tokyo Dark Castle Website (In English and Japanese)(英語と日本語で)
Shinjuku MARZ website (Japanese) (日本語)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Halloween: Halloween Fright Nights at Warner Bros. Movie World

So far we've covered places in the US and UK to go to for the Halloween season, but this time, we thought we'd feature something for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere; specifically Australia. Warner Bros. Movie World in Queensland has held Halloween Fright Nights (previously called Halloween Family Fun Night, until 2009) every year since 2006, with great success.

"This October ‘Fright Nights’ at Movie World will be the scariest yet… your favourite theme park will be transformed into a playground of nightmares when two of the world’s most popular horror film franchises; SAW and A Nightmare on Elm Street, will come back to life. For the first time in Movie World history, these two iconic movies will be recreated as mazes for the return of the highly acclaimed 2009 Fright Nights. In 2010, Fright Nights at Movie World will up the ante on all previous horror experiences and totally blow your mind… every waking moment will be filled with unexpected fear and even shadows in the darkness will play on your subconscious – “Was that Freddy lurking in the dark, or… did you just see Billy the Puppet hiding around the corner…?”
Fright Nights will be held at Warner Bros. Movie World on the 8th, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 29th, 30th and 31st of October 2010 from 6:00pm - 11:00pm. SUPERMAN ESCAPE, BATWING Spaceshot, LETHAL WEAPON and Wild West Falls will operate from 6:00pm - 9:00pm. All other attractions operate until 11:00pm."
Whilst the Saw and Friday the 13th themed mazes are somewhat reminiscent of Universal's Halloween Horror Nights (Hollywood), attractions like the Zombie Motor Cross Live Show and the Live Freak Show, plus the multitude of rides make Fright Nights a very different experience!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Halloween: Grimm Up North 2

Let's continue our Halloween 'things to do' list with something truly horrific!

Running from October 28th - 31st in Manchester, UK, the Grimm Up North horror and SF festival is now in its second year, with last year being a huge success. With horror movies, both new and old, from all over the world, guest panels, exhibitons, live music and much more, there's something for everyone. Also, Grimm is teaming up with the Manchester Literature Festival and the Manchester Science Festival this year, which has created some interesting events such as the Killer Robots Seminar, Make A Monster Seminar and Grimm Reading.

"For those of you who want to grab a serious bargain, we’ve extended our Early Bird Festival Pass offer. You now have – till Monday September 20th to get access to all our feature film screenings (excluding gala night), shorts, seminars, Q+As, market and exhibitions for just £65.

At this point, we’ll be announcing the full festival lineup and the price of the festival pass will go up to £75 and while that is still unbeatable value, you should think about booking now if you want to get an even cheaper slice of the Grimm Up North action!"
For more info and updates, check the Grimm Up North website: http://www.grimmfest.com/

Movies: The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!

I love bizarre and far-fetched horror, I really do. So naturally the title 'The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!', directed by Andy Milligan and produced by William Mishkin, caught my attention. I'll admit, this movie did make me laugh a few times, and I can't really believe that this was ever meant to be entirely serious.

However, if it wasn't bad enough to start with, it becomes even more ridiculous with the introduction of the rats into 20 minutes or so of a film that is largely about a family of werewolves. The acting is pretty dire and the effects are terrible, but I wanted to share the trailer with you anyway, just for fun! If you like stupid movies, it's worth watching once at least.

Trailer and more information behind the jump.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Shopping: The Horror Factory

This Halloween, if you're out of costume ideas, look no futher than the Horror Factory. Their selection of intriguing and horrific masks are a delight for any trick or treater.

Their masks were made with a variety of fascinating details that would make any horror fanatic want to wear it and spook the pants off of someone, perfect for horror fans and collectors.

From their latest collection, this monster's head appears to be the result of a mad scientist's project gone way wrong (or right).

Check out more gory masks at the Horror Factory.

Toys: Dismember-Me Plush Zombie

I remember spending hours when I was a child trying to create my very own zombie from parts of broken toys and bits of string. Little did I know, that in the future, those clever people over at ThinkGeek would create a plush zombie for me!

"What happens when you take old broken plush toys and bury them in the woods by the light of the full moon while whistling the theme song from "Halloween"? Unfortunately nothing...which is why the skillful design monkeys here at ThinkGeek were forced to come-up with our own scary (but cute) zombie plush.

The Dismember-Me Plush Zombie begs to be torn limb from limb. After all he is a decaying re-animated corpse turned into irresistible cuddly plush. Rip off an arm... he doesn't mind. Tear him in half.. he'll barely notice. Pull off his legs... ok now he's getting a bit annoyed. Steal his brain... now you've really done it. Keep your teddy bears under close guard tonight because undead plush have come back from hell to walk the earth."

One of these delightful little darlings can be yours for just $12.99 from the ThinkGeek store.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Games: New Left 4 Dead Missions and Comic!

The game Left for Dead has been around for a while, and has been a firm favourite of mine, as it involves three things that always seem to equal fun: Chainsaws. Zombies. Blood. The stylings of this game helps to set a fun b-movie atmosphere as you team up with 3 other players against an unending horde of zombies!

In this photo "The Sacrifice" appears to be a zombie!!! (of course)

"Welcome to the first chapter in our four-part Left 4 Dead comic, the Sacrifice! Find out what happens after the military rescued Francis, Louis, Zoey, and Bill at the end of the original Left 4 Dead in four weekly installments, each a whopping 40-plus pages of story and art. Then, download the new DLC “The Sacrifice”, where we put the story’s conclusion into your hands."
For those who don't know it (you would have to have been hiding in your zompocalypse fallout shelter not to) there is a new mission pack coming on the 5th October, well in time for halloween. But first there has been a online comic book released to help set the mood!

More details about this and "the Sacrifice" campaign after the jump!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Halloween: Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Studios, in both Hollywood and Orlando, run Halloween Horror Nights regularly, with 2010 being the 20th year at Orlando! (Hollywood's HHN started later and went on hiatus for a few years). Both locations have scare zones, live shows and houses, with Hollywood also including rides, making scary spectacles for all!

Photo: Jab2980

If you prefer branded horror (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Saw etc.) then probably you'd enjoy Hollywood's offerings this year, as Orlando only seem to have original characters this year. However, if you just want some shocks, scares and frights on Halloween and don't really care who it comes from, then Orlando will be just as fun for you!

HHN Website: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/

Have you been to HHN? Let us know!

More pictures, videos and info after the jump:

Monday, 13 September 2010

Halloween: The Ghost Bus Tours

I recently had the chance to go on the Ghost Bus Tour in London, UK. It was silly, spooky fun and so I thought I'd include it in our Halloween list of things to do!

The bus leaves from outside the Grand Hotel on Northumberland Avenue, which is just down the road from Charing Cross tube station, so it's quite a convenient location. You're supposed to arrive 10 minutes before the tour you're going on, and so the bus probably won't be there, but there's a sign for it, so it's pretty easy to find. There's also a lot of other buses passing by, but you'll easily recognise the Ghost Bus, because it's painted completely black.

"Tour Info

All aboard the ‘orrible omnibus for a ride around the dark side of London. The Ghost Bus Tours’ classic Routemaster has been redesigned to give passengers London’s first ‘Fright Bus’ service. On-board actors and technical trickery combine to create the scariest tour in town. A creepy conductor provides the commentary for this sinister sightseeing show, revealing haunted palaces, unmarked burial grounds and the skeletons in the capital’s cupboard.

1.The Ghost Bus Tour takes you around the City, West End and even goes south of the river.
2.Tours depart from Northumberland Avenue which is just off of Trafalgar Square. The Bus stop is outside the Grand Hotel, nearest tubes are Charing Cross and Embankment.
3.All tours are subject to availability please check the dates you wish to travel to make sure they are available.
4.Please arrive at least ten minutes before the start of the tour you wish to go on.
5.Advanced booking is recommended as there might not always be tickets available on the night.
6.The Bus can be hired with or without the tour for parties, weddings...and funerals. Please call us for a quote.
7.Please note, the bus cannot wait for latecomers and tickets are non refundable.
8.Please note, the consumption of alcohol on the bus is not permitted."

At first there weren't many people on board, but it was soon comfortably filled up and the atmosphere was better because of that. The tour lasts about an hour and an half and there are actors, stories, sound and visual effects, smoke and shaking to entertain you on your way, as well as London's sights of course! There's even a (pretend) seance to take part in! Also, although it's not something that bothered me, the descriptions of deaths and torture are quite graphic, just to warn you.

If you live in London, you might not enjoy it as much, but I go there quite often and still found it entertaining. However, it is an activity that's very geared towards tourist (though there were some people from South London on the bus I took). You can either book your tickets in advance, or buy them on the night (though you might not get a seat), or you could even book the whole bus for a private party or tour. Check the official website for details.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Halloween: Oxford Castle Ghostfest

With only 50 days left until Halloween, we've decided to post Halloween-related events and places, from all over the world, so that all of you little horrors have something to do on the spookiest of special nights!

1 - Oxford Castle Ghostfest (UK)

Set in a Medieval castle, built in 1071 and run by Haunted Happenings, Halloween is the second night of the Oxford Castle Ghostfest (the first night is October 29th and runs from 9pm - 4am). Oxford Castle Unlocked describes night two of the event as:

Our second night hosted by the Haunted Happenings Paranormal Team and Psychics at the very haunted Oxford Castle for our Halloween special. The medieval crypt and its foreboding atmosphere will really test your nerve as you carry out some amazing experiments in an attempt to make contact with the dead.

With access to Oxford Castle and prison, Haunted Happenings promise to take you on a ghost hunt, complete with a tour (the castle's horrible history included), seances, a workshop on using dowsing rods, crystals, EMF dectors, temperature thermometers etc., a walk around the castle with a professional medium, time working with the Haunted Happenings team, plus time alone to explore the castle for yourself.

The event runs from 7pm - 1am and costs £59.00 per person.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Games: Amnesia: The Dark Decent

Concocted and released today by Frictional Games, 'Amnesia: The dark decent' is not a game for the faint of heart. Those used to having the trusty shotgun and rocket launcher to deal with whatever denizens may come your way, will be disturbed by the fact that the only option for survival in this claustrophobic horror game is to run and hide!


"The last remaining memories fade away into darkness. Your mind is a mess and only a feeling of being hunted remains. You must escape."

Trailer and more information in the full article (click the jump!)

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Horror Shock: New Writers

Two new writers have joined Horror Shock! Madame Luciel will cover all things technologically horrific and horror games, whilst sad Oasis will be writing about movies and spooky events! I of course, will continue to write about anything and everything creepy, strange, scary and horror ^^

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Movies: Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

Bob Clark's dark comedy horror, 'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things' (1972), is a movie I've been wanting to see for quite a while now, but never have. The story centres around a theatre troupe who carry out a necromantic ritual, as somewhat of a joke, to bring the corpse of Orville Dunworth back to life. After it seemingly fails, their director, Alan (played by Alan Ormsby, who also wrote the film) decides to take the body back to the house in which the group are staying. However, the joke turns serious when the corpses of Orville and the other people buried on the island come back to life to teach the troupe a lesson.

It's a B-movie, so obviously it might be a little silly, but B-movie or not, it certainly sounds very entertaining!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Movies: Kill, Baby... Kill!

Dr. Eswai is called by Inspector Kruger to a small village to perform an autopsy on a woman who has died under suspicious circumstances. Despite help from Ruth, the village witch, Kruger is killed and it is revealed that the dead woman, as well as other villagers, have been killed by the ghost of Melissa, a young girl who, fed by the hatred of her grieving mother, Baroness Graps, exacts her revenge on them. Dr. Eswai, along with Monica, a local nurse, are lured into a fateful confrontation at the Villa Graps.
-Doug Sederberg

Set in Transylvania, you might expect legendary Italian director, Mario Bava's, stylish classic gothic horror, 'Kill, Baby... Kill!' (1966, aka 'Operazione paura'), to be about vampires. However, quite a different supernatural, undead being is the subject of this movie. This is one of Bava's best, in my opinion. Wonderful aesthetics and a skillful plot progression make it a must see, along with 1960's 'Black Sunday'/'La maschera del demonio'. If possible, watch it in Italian with English subtitles though, because, as is so often the case, the English dubs are pretty terrible!

Games: Naughty Bear

If you go down to the woods today..you'd better make sure you invite Naughty Bear or you'll be sorry! Naughty Bear is a game, released by 505 Games this year, with a darkly amusing plot and original concept. The story begins when Naughty Bear is not invited to Daddles' birthday party and when he tries to be nice, the other bears laugh at him. So he does what all self-respecting, criminally insane protagonists do...gets revenge!

Meet Naughty Bear, a sociopathic teddy bear out for revenge and stuffed with evil intentions. Striking terror in the hearts of all bears, Naughty Bear lets you scare the stuffinf out of your victims before you impale them on your machete. Filled with tons of mischief and over-the-top cartoon violence, this one of a kind adventure game is built on an innovative AI foundation that makes this game hours of fun for gamers of all levels.

The game is out now on the PS3 and XBox and looks quite fun, despite its poor reviews, which suggest that it is indeed fun, but only for about an hour or so. However, I appreciate the horror-themed trailers for it. Official trailer, plus 'Slasher Bear', 'Freddy Bear', 'Bear Witch', 'Alien' and 'Jaws' trailers behind the jump!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Animation: Pet of Dracula

Even Dracula can't resist the hypnotic stare of a cat!

Movies: The Thriving Zombie return to Resident Evil

While it seems that the Resident Evil trilogy simply won't end, the next chapter of the zombie flick will be released soon, featuring more monsters, more zombies, and of course, butt-kicking chicks.

The story is a continuation of the apocalyptic aftermath of a virus said to revive dead tissue, ultimately zombies, and the story of this fierce girl who was intentionally infected with a mutated form of the virus, which made her into a super human being, and how she hopes to deals with those responsible for the end of the world.

One of the cool things about this film is that it was shot in 3D using the new fusion camera system, which basically means the feel looks more realistic and cooler. So beware, zombies may appear to want your flesh in real action.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Toys: Living Dead Dolls - Retro Halloween Set 2010

Mezco unveils it's best Halloween treat ever: Three retro Halloween-themed boxsets that include an old school-styled plastic mask, exclusive 10" doll and a coordinating T-shirt (XL only). The trio consists of three of the most popular Halloween Living Dead Dolls ever created: Calavera The Skull, Pumpkin- The Jack Oˆ Lantern and Gabriella- The Ghoul.
Each set harkens back to your favorite childhood Halloween memories with an adult-sized plastic mask with elastic straps, cut-out eyes and mouth hole; a limited edition exclusive Living Dead Doll with glow-in-the dark mask that coordinates with the set; one exclusively designed extra large tee shirt by Dave Cook and packaged in a fantastic retro-style Halloween costume window box.

Set includes:
Calavera -The Skull,
Pumpkin - The Jack Oˆ Lantern
Gabriella The Ghoul.

Limited to 500 pieces of each set, worldwide.

They're available for pre-order now, but sadly, Mezco don't ship internationally, only to the US and Canada. However, they do have a rather handy list of links to stores that stock their items who might! The list

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