Friday, March 27, 2009
The conventional wisdom is that there are no good Lovecraft
movies and that the best movies with Lovecraft in the title
don't have a darn thing to do with the man from Providence.
Well you have a point there, mostly.
BUT there are a few wonderful little films you might not
have heard of. I'd like to share them with you, and while they
might not all be strictly Lovecraft they sure as Hell feel like a
Well lets start with this one...
Now I haven't actually seen this one yet... BUT IS FINALLY
COMING OUT ON DVD! I have waited years to see it. It
looks like a great version of The Shadow Out Of
This is a fantastic adaption of The Case Of Charles
Dexter Ward. Again they made changes to the story
but the plot and mystery are still there and some very tense
moments near the end.
Ok this is an off the wall choice and not related to any actual
Lovecraft story but the spirit is there. We have an unreliable
narrator and a story that ponders if the Mountains of
Madness are under the streets of Japan. This one got mixed
reviews but I find it fascinating viewing.
Strange Aeons:The Thing On The
This is a low budget independent film adaption of The
Thing On The Doorstep. They may not have had a lot
of cash but they have more style and spirit than a dozen
current horror remakes. Yes liberties are taken but this is
gem of a film and Angela M. Grillo is a delight as Asenath
Waite. This is available from Lurker Films. I
only wish I more disposable income to give these guys.
Out of Mind: The Stories of HP Lovecaft
Sorry no trailer for this one but this is a a special that was
done for the Canadian BRAVO channel. It is part pastiche
and part introductory to Lovecraft. Incorporates actual
quotes from Lovectaft's letters and stories as dialogue. This
is also available from Lurker Films.
The Creeping Flesh
Ok I admit this isn't even close to being a Lovecraft adaption
but there is just something about it...
The Call of Cthulhu
This is just neat. The folks of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society created an adaption of the story in the style of a 1920's silent film. Very faithful to the source and very entertaining. Another movie worthy of a special order.
I hope this gives you folks some ideas what to get next time you want to see a movie
I made some tweaks (doesn't that word sound dirty?) to the page. It now has the last 7 days of posts right there without you having to click here and there to the table of contents. Hopefully it's more convenient but if you hate it let me know. We are here to serve.
I also added another visitor map to the bottom of the page, those things amuse the Hell out of me.
Of course keep circulating the blog.
Now with that being said let me tell you that I recently discovered The Darkest Of The Hillside Thickets and I can't stop listening to them.
A Marine Biologist
Their offical website describes them this way
The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets is a rock band that is dedicated to promoting the literature of H.P. Lovecraft, who wrote of lost cities, tainted geneology, alien gods, and that fabled tome, The Necronomicon. The Thickets haven’t been able to get ahold of the ancient spellbook, but they’ve got their own brand of corruption. They’re on a Lovecraft binge of madness, and they mean to take you with them. The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets have a reputation for entrancing and inciting their live audiences with their melodic blend of energetic punk and rock, while wearing graphic costumes that help bring their good-naturedly macabre songs to life. Their latest project is “The Shadow Out of Tim” concept album, a reimagining of Lovecraft’s short story “The Shadow Out of Time.”
The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets live in Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack.
That's right, it's cosmic blasphemy you can dance to. Is this what Azathoth keeps on his iPod
Actually they're all over my iPod as well. In fact I bet you that at least 1/3 of the posts here were written under their musical influence.
Twenty Minutes of Oxygen
How did I hear about this band you may wonder? Well as a longtime Lovecraft fan I found out about a role playing game called Spaceship Zerothat cleverly combined the Cthulhu mythos with the style of an old fashioned Flash Gordon serial. Turns out The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets vocalist and lyricist Toren Atkinson was one of writers behind the game and his band produced a soundtrack for the game.On a lark I bought it... and after one listen I was a fan for life.
I decided to share a little bit about the band just in case you've never heard of them because I have always meant for this little blog to be about more than just my sexual and literary perversions.
Goin' Down To Dunwich
Give them a try, you won't be sorry.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I found out via
THE VAULT OF HORROR and BLOODY DISGUSTING (both great sites for horror fans BTW)
Anyway apparently Magnolia Pictures has responded to the outcry with this...
“We’ve been made aware that there are several fans that don’t like the version of the subtitles on the DVD/BR. We had an alternate translation that we went with. Obviously a lot of fans thought we should have stuck with the original theatrical version. We are listening to the fans feedback, and going forward we will be manufacturing the discs with the subtitles from the theatrical version...
...There are no exchanges. We are going to make an alternate version available however. For those that wish to purchase a version with the theatrical subtitles, it will be called out in the tech specs box at the back/bottom of the package where it will list SUBTITLES: ENGLISH (Theatrical), SPANISH.”
Well that's better than nothing I suppose but I feel bad for the folks that already paid for the sub par version.
I wonder when the restored versions hit the stores.
Again thanks to BLOODY DISGUSTING, ICONS OF FRIGHT and THE VAULT OF HORROR for keeping me informed of this issue.
I guess the Internet is good for more than porn after all...
Now you may be asking yourselves "What the HELL is Price Breaks And Heart Aches?"
Well up until yesterday it was the series of well loved tales called Price Breaks And Heart Breaks but my good friend (and occasional mummy) Greg suggested a better title for the series and I ran with it.
As always if you enjoyed the latest chapter of this story or if you hated it or if you found 30 typos in the first paragraph alone let me know!
oh and PS, I had planned to post this on Friday but it was done and burning a hole in my metaphorical pocket so here we are...
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
In The Shadow Of His Nemesis
Al Bruno III
Thursday November 7th 1996
It was the best room in the best 5 star hotel Albany had to offer and it was absolutely quiet. A man and a woman sat on an expensive couch; their posture perfect, their bodies naked and their expressions empty. They were so still that if anyone had ignored the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door and blundered into the room they might have thought they were looking in on a pair of mannequins.
Shortly after 9 AM the telephone rang. The man stood smoothly and crossed the room to answer it. "Hello?" his voice was crisp and businesslike.
The woman stood and moved to stand beside him.
There was no lethargy in their movements, no stretching or yawns. "No… no." The man’s expression was blank, "I understand you had to double check. Security is important and we're not the usual type of people you're used to dealing with. I just appreciate you getting back to us. Now about that address… Could you repeat that? An APB? Oh no thank you. I'm sure you'll understand the need for discretion. Thank you again for your time Police Chief Costello. I assure you my superiors will be informed how helpful and thorough you were."
The man hung up the phone. The woman spoke, "That took long enough.”
There was a pair of suitcases on the room's wide bed. The man walked over to one and opened it. He began to change into fresh clothes, "He was suspicious of our credentials, such things are to be expected."
The woman did the same, as she dressed her movements mirrored his "These databases should all be interconnected and fluid, we shouldn’t even need to make requests."
"In time, it will all come in time,” He said. “You would have hated it in the old days. We all worked alone and barely kept in contact."
She pulled on an elegant gray skirt and then shouldered into a crisp white blouse, “Are you sure we shouldn’t make use of the local authorities?”
“I think it is best we don’t,” he paused to explain, “It’s too soon after the last incident here. I think we had best act with an economy of force. I won’t lose another Torweg to the Hanged Man and his cause.”
“How many more mistakes will we be allowed?” She slipped into a jacket and put on her sensible shoes.
“Don’t think like that,” he had his pants and shirt on and was adjusting his tie, “we’ve done our best under difficult circumstances. Our time is coming.”
"Do you think Galen has already passed on what he knows? Perhaps to his rescuer?”
"No. She seems perfectly ordinary-"
When they were both fully dressed they shared a nod of approval and headed out into the hallway. They left their luggage behind and didn’t bother to lock the door.
“Perfectly ordinary?” The woman smiled, "You mean like us?"
The man chuckled as they waited for the elevator, "Point taken, but Isobel J. Talbot, age twenty-one, seems perfectly mundane. No arrests or record of any kind. Not even a speeding ticket."
"A Good Samaritan?" The elevator door opened and they stepped inside, “I think I feel sorry for her.”
The man raised a single eyebrow, “Heart as big as the world eh?”
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Crushing Disappointment News!: Well it looks like I won't be getting the DVD release of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN anytime soon after all
I want to thank the website ICONS OF FRIGHT for catching this before I parted with my hard earned cash. Seriously folks take a look at the screen caps on the page above and see that appallingly bad job that was done by this new 'translators'.
This is the most disappointing news I've had in a while. Why do horror films always get interfered with this way?
Once again the link to the screencaps and article is here.
I plan to add ICONS OF FRIGHT to my regular stops on the internet.
Also, one of my friends suggested that I change PRICE BREAKS AND HEART BREAKS to PRICE BREAKS AND HEART ACHES.
What do you think?
Now that I have a large hunk of the serial novel done I hope to keep this schedule with the novel on Wednesdays and some kind of comedy or short story on Friday.
Let's see how long that lasts shall we?
And as always-
Monday, March 23, 2009
The Toys In My Attic And The Junk In My Trunk
Ok first off all you folks out here who in the act of Googling for porn ended up here can just move on. This is a tale about metaphorical attics and allegorical trunks. I should also warn you that much of the material you read here may be literal crap.
For me the trunk is the part of my mind where all the stories that never sold or never quite turned our right are kept. The attic is where I keep all the characters that never quite found a home or knew what to do with. You’d be surprised the amount of this stuff that builds over just a short time not to mention half a lifetime.
Like this here? This would have been the story of a woman that finds herself one of the few survivors of a vague sort of apocalypse. Her companion on her adventures would a guy she had once told she wouldn’t sleep with if he was the last man on Earth. I was sure hilarity would abound;
The campfire was pathetic, the grubs and roots they had for dinner were even worse. Just when Ally thought things couldn’t get any worse Vinnie sat down close beside her. Ally started to groaned audibly but then stopped. He might think it was an invitation.
“You feelin’ ok?” he flashed a grin that still had bits of grub stuck in it.
Ally winced, “Define ok.”
Suddenly his lips were on hers, he pushed her down on to the ground, his hands everywhere.
So Ally kneed him in the groin as hard as she dared, twice.
When Vinnie could talk again he said, “I’m so sorry Alison. I don’t know what came over me.”
“That’s fine.” She said crisply, “Just remember I never will.”
LOVE AND DESTRUCTION, as it was to have been called, ran out of steam shortly afterwards. It was all premise no spark. Ah well.
Around the same time I tried to write a novel about a group of D&D players that have to slay an actual dragon- aside from this being a cliché so huge it can be seen from orbit I also realized about 250 pages or so in that I had no idea how a group of gamer nerds would kill a dragon unless they somehow used their collective funk to suffocate it. Most of the characters from that story were reused in other projects I was much happier with.
Now this was around the time that Clive Barkers THE BOOKS OF BLOOD came out, those books pretty much changed me forever showing me that horror, wonder and humor could all exist in the same page- heck sometimes within he same paragraph.
So I started trying to write horror fiction, my goal market was a magazine called THE HORROR SHOW, the rejections slips I got were always encouraging and kept me trying I like to think that I would have cracked the market eventually but sadly THE HORROR SHOW folded before I truly found my creative voice- perhaps manuscripts like this one drove them to it;
Wendy always cut through the woods to get home from work. She wasn’t afraid of the dark, she never had been. She just strolled through the trees with the moon at her back and a song on her lips.
Even tonight with the frigid winds and cloudy, starless skies did she avoid her shortcut. She paused to drink in the night; the scent of decaying leaves and sap mixed with the frostiness of the fall air, it was an invigorating scent, a living scent. Wendy smiled, she’d be home soon.
She started off again, her feet crunching over fallen leaves and pinecones. Carl was probably waiting up for her, sometimes she’d find him asleep on the couch, the TV blaring, his mouth open and slack.
On those nights she would just look at him for a few minutes and thank God for delivering her such a good husband. Then she’d kiss his forehead gently and he’d wake up and carry her to bed. On those nights neither of them got much sleep. She quickened her pace, now she really wanted to get home.
Wendy paused, near the edge of her peripheral vision there was a fleeting glimpse of, of something. It was a quick animal like movement, a fluttering shadow against a backdrop of shadows. A dirty primitive smell invaded her flaring nostrils. Her blood turned to ice…
Wow huh? Prose purpler that monk at a strip club.
Now see that big mound of papers over there? That’s the novel I wrote in High School about a kid that wanted to be a superhero. It was the first thing I ever wrote from start to finish that was longer than 500 words. It was a real honest to God novel and while I don’t think I would ever want to see it in print now I do have to say that THE HERO is still 100 times better than MEET THE SPARTANS.
I’m not ready to share that one with you guys yet, maybe someday soon but that one would be an essay in itself.
Of course no tour of my subconscious would be complete without a visit from these guys.
Readers meet my super hero team, at least what is left of them anyway and yes this is an example of my artwork way back in 1986. As you can see my unique stylings are somewhere between the early cubists and Fred Hembeck.
I eventually abandoned cartooning in favor of… whatever the Hell it is I do here but these wild and crazy guys- THE CRUSADERS, as they were known are going to be wandering around in the back of my imagination when I am on my deathbed.
Who are these guys? Well up top right left there is THE MUSE- who was pretty much Stevie Nicks with the powers of DC comics’ Dr. Fate. The joke with her was that all the major mythological gods were working for other super teams so all the Crusaders could get was her. She was wise, kind and under the right circumstances a total slut. A fun character to write, I miss her.
Now the one in the stunningly original costume in middle of the upper row is DRACULA THE TENTH who was pretty much Batman with self esteem issues and the power to talk to bats. Yes he was the one superhero Aquaman could laugh at.
The guy in the upper right in all red is INFINITE MAN whose Superman-like powers were infinite in potential except when he was on Earth- then he got weaker. Did I mention he couldn’t breathe in space?
Directly below the muse is RINGMAN who could shoot energy rings out of his hands and fly. Since most villains could jump or fly through said energy rings with relative ease I retired Ringman every other issue it seemed. Sorry buddy.
To the right of Ringman is AMAZING LADY- your standard super heroine in the Black Canary/Daredevil mode. She didn’t have a secret identity and was famous for being the greatest mall security guard in the world. Again this was in 1986. Take THAT Paul Blart! I had her hooked up with the half robot guy in the front for a while but then he dumped her for the Muse and then Amazing Lady sold her soul to a demon for superpowers of her own but it turned out she couldn’t control them and then I realized I couldn’t draw and never finished her story arc.
Actually this was the 80’s story arcs hadn’t been invented yet.
The blond guy in the red jumpsuit next to her is MATT MORON OF THE SPACE PATROL. Matt lived in the future having lots of cosmic adventures, he even fought Cthulhu once. However no matter how many times he saved the Earth the people of the 36th century still made fun of his name. Matt eventually became stranded in the 20th century were he joined the crusaders and suffered through even more people making fun of his last name. Although many years have past I can still draw Matt’s hairline.
Now next to Matt- the guy with no neck there- that is GEORGE GORDON and he like Matt Moron is an adventurer from a space opera style environment thrust into the Crusaders’ world. George was pretty much a Star Trek style Red Shirt that happened to have a strongly developed sense of self-preservation and cowardice. He also had no neck, making him immune to strangulation. George Gordon was actually created by Eden Studio’s George Vasilakos. I remember back in Junior High School I asked him if I could use the George Gordon character he had created. George in his wisdom and kindness said to me “Why the Hell should I care? I just hit puberty!”
Now below George Gordon is PRINCE ZARDEK OF ATLANTIS who may have been my second most unoriginal character of all time. He was pretty much Marvel’s SubMariner without winged feet and green Speedos. He didn’t really do much but say “Zounds!” a lot. I suppose someone had to.
Next to Zardek is another unoriginal character called THE CRIMSON COMET and he was pretty much a rip-off of the Flash except that he had a twin brother that also had speed powers so they traded off using the costume. I hope they laundered their tights between switchovers.
Now next to The Crimson Comet is… Jeeze, none of these guys were very original were they? Oh well. Meet FROGMAN, he had a ray gun that could give people warts. I thought this stuff was funny back then? He also used to have a sidekick named RIBBIT and a special car called The FROGMOBILE. Eventually Ribbit left the team and as for the Frogmobile?
It was toad away.
Now next to Frogman was a winged character that was to be named CAPTAIN PEREGRINE but he ended up looking like a budgie so I called him Captain Parakeet instead. Since his hands were always using those high tech wings of his he had laser guns installed on his feet. For some reason I always imagined him as being Canadian.
Right below that guy is SUPERPUNK who had the powers of Superman and Dr. Strange and had very interesting hair. Unlikely plot revelations would reveal he was both the Muse’s long lost son and some kind of a homunculus. Say what you will but it still sounds better than the Clone Saga doesn’t it?
Then dead center in the front is CYBRO who was half man, half machine and all player. Even though he was a torment half mechanical monster he still had the only two girls on the team pining for him. I guess he had a vibration setting.
The guy with the huge skull is BRAINMAN, who had a big brain; he was smart and telepathic and hid his true identity with the world’s greatest hairpiece. If you had a head like that would you go getting into fistfights on a regular basis?
Then lastly in the lower left hand corner there? That’s me aka ALBERT WHO. That is right, I wrote myself into my own superhero comic. Did I mention I had a lightsaber and a TARDIS? Still though, he is a handsome devil isn’t he?
So there you have it, some of the stories and characters I created and never really let go of. Sometimes it still makes me sad to think that when I died these things will perish with me.
If only there was some way to fool people into looking at this half-assed junk by disguising it as some kind of an essay or blog entry…