Monday, April 26, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
A family decides to go away for a weekend to a house in the woods to reconnect. Still bothered from a divorce and history of perceived wrong doings, their weekend away is derailed when a stranger enters their home and holds them hostage. All the while, you are lead to believe that something is outside, lurking and stalking around the woods and presumably, its coming after the inhabitants of the home.
Sounds like a Victor and Boris treat to me!
Monday, April 19, 2010
The gruesome ghoul, the grisly ghoul,
without the slightest noise
waits patiently beside the school
to feast on girls and boys.
He lunges fiercely through the air
as they come out to play,
then grabs a couple by the hair
and drags them far away.
He cracks their bones and snaps their backs
and squeezes out their lungs,
he chews their thumbs like candy snacks
and pulls apart their tongues.
He slices their stomachs and bites their hearts
and tears their flesh to shreds,
he swallows their toes like toasted tarts
and gobbles down their heads.
Fingers, elbows, hands and knees
and arms and legs and feet -
he eats them with delight and ease,
for every part's a treat.
And when the gruesome, grisly ghoul
has nothing left to chew,
he hurries to another school
and waits...perhaps for you.
I can't help but think of Victor Salva's Jeepers Creepers when I read this poem. The selection was taken from Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1976, Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Arnold Lobel) which is a book of 12 poems on witches, werewolves, vampires, haunted houses, and all things scary. Each poem is illustrated with one or more full-page black and white drawings in a style reminiscent of Edward Gorey. Pelutsky has written several books of poetry for children.
Friday, April 16, 2010
I realize at the end it says "What are watchin?" instead of "What are YOU watchin?" so just ignore that. I did that panel really quickly and will take it out once I redraw it for the actual short story.
What I have been developing lately is a new strip/comic label of sorts. I'm still kinda at odds with everything but I think I'm finally going with Awkward Posture. I'm not certain if it's going to be Awkward Posture Comics or just Awkward Posture. What do you guys think?
I'm also going to be launching the ALIENS ARE AFRAID OF FLOWERS website in the next week or so, so be on the lookout for sure. Hope everyone is having a great Friday!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Word of Steele’s death broke late Wednesday night (April 14) via a series of tweets from friends and family. These were followed by statement to Blabbermouth from Type O Negative keyboardist Josh Silver, who confirmed Steele passed away on Wednesday. And while it is believe he died of heart failure, no official word on the cause of death has been released.
Type O Negative’s label, SPV, has released the following statement:
It's with great sadness that we give our condolences to the family and friends of Peter Steele. He died on April 14th, 2010.
With his bands CARNIVORE and TYPE O NEGATIVE he achieved cult status and was loved by fans around the world. The last releases he did with TYPE O NEGATIVE were the DVD Symphony For The Devil and the studio album Dead Again.
SPV/Steamhammer proudly released both products worldwide, which will now — very unfortunately — be the end of his recording legacy.
And VERY unfortunate it is indeed. I cannot express the melancholy I feel at this moment. I know it sounds a little silly but it's the truth. Type O Negative have been very vital to my evolution from child to adult and like everyone else in the world who clings to their idols I definitely clung to Mr. Steele and company. I could always rely on their drudgy graveyard tones and the droning vocal drags to brighten my day or at least help me cope with the stresses of the world.
I will certainly miss you Peter Steele. Thank you for 19 wonderful years.
And like the song suggests...and I feel it to be very true:
1990 (I was in Kindergarten when I saw the following films)
- The Willies (YES!!! I definitely had the URGE TO REGURGE!!!)
- Edward Scissorhands (LOVED this movie. I saw it at the old LaGrange theater)
- Home Alone
- Troll 2 (I LOVED the first one but number 2 is just phenomenal, really)
- Predator 2 (still remember renting this for the first time!)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Jacob's Ladder
- Tremors (Good ole Kroger rental)
- The Witches (one of the scariest movies I had seen at the time!)
- Gremlins 2: The New Batch (rented this at Kroger with my brother)
- Tom Savigni's Night of the Living Dead
- Arachnophobia (John Goodman!! Woo Hoo!)
- Child's Play 2 (Kroger rental)
- Terminator II (Kroger rental)
- Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (Blockbuster rental)
- Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (Blockbuster rental)
- Graveyard Shift (Blockbuster rental)
- The Guardian (I was literally frightened for a month)
- Maniac Cop II (late night showing on HBO I believe)
- Basket Case II (fell in love with the effects and would later ask Santa for a makeup kit that showed you how to make eyeballs "pop out")
- The Gate II
- Puppet Master
- Stephen King's IT (my mom taped this on T.V. when it first aired and we would watch it together late at night after I got out of school)
1991 (First grade here I come!)
- Howling VI: The Freaks
- The People Under the Stairs
- Sometimes They Come Back
- Child's Play 3 (saw this at the old lagrange theater with mom)
- Silence of the Lambs
- Critters 3: You are What they Eat (Kroger rental with my grandmother)
- Critters 4: They're Invading Your Space (Next day rental with grandma)
- Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (Kroger rental)
- Naked Lunch
- Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
- Nothing But Trouble
- Highway to Hell (late night Showtime or HBO I think)
- Ernest Scared Stupid (Changed my life)
- Subspecies (First taste of Full Moon!!)
- Dolly Dearest (Boy, oh boy, what a movie)
- The Borrower
- Puppet Master II
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze
I know I'm probably forgetting several movies but most of these are from memory so I apologize if I'm leaving anything off.
Monday, April 12, 2010
It's broad, it's bright.
It fills the sky of All Hallows' Night.
The strangest sight you've ever seen.
The Monster Tree on Halloween.
The leaves have burned to gold and red,
the grass is brown, the old year dead,
but hang the harvest high, Oh see!
The candle constellations on the Halloween Tree!
The stars they turn, the candles burn
and the mouse-leaves scurry on the cold wind bourne,
and a mob of smiles shine down on thee
from the gourds hung high on the Halloween Tree.
The smile of the Witch, and the smile of the Cat,
the smile of the Beast, the smile of the Bat,
The smile of the Reaper taking his fee
all cut and glimmer on the Halloween Tree...
I finally found a book copy of The Halloween Tree and folks, let me tell ya, it is phenomenal. If you loved the animated adaptation and it was the first taste you had (like myself) then you honestly don't know what you're missing. Ray Bradbury is an incredible writer and his insatiable love and thirst for all things Halloween is very, VERY evident in his work. Sadly, it has been a long time since I've felt elated about Halloween (mainly due to several unfortunate 'outside' debacles) and after reading Bradbury's books lately I've felt a warm comfort that I think I've needed for some time now. I'm ready to delve further into my artwork and be more productive with everything. Well, more on all this later I suppose. Anyways, just thought wanted to share that above poem with everyone. Have a wonderful day!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
While browsing in an antique shop, a young mother (Kim Johnston Ulrich) comes across an unusually carved "wishing stone" that's too intriguing to resist. Little does she realize, however, that her one wish will free the demonic Rumpelstiltskin (Max Grodenchik), who's been trapped inside the rock for more than 500 years and who survives by eating babies. Now, the young mom has just three chances to guess the impish man's name or lose her child.
Seeing this movie at the tender (or not so tender) age of 10 was a very magical experience indeed. Full Moon was one of my favorite companies back then (well, still is I suppose...I can't help but love almost every single thing they've put out) and Rumpelstiltskin is definitely one of their better releases (next to Castle Freak and the Puppet Master series). Now, not much can be said about this movie in detail now, but I can say that it's a pretty solid picture. I haven't seen the darn thing since '95 so don't throw your boogers at me just yet. I looked it up on Netflix and unfortunately they don't have a copy available for shipping but I think you can find the whole movie on Youtube if you hunt for it. It is definitely worth the search if you love your movies extra buttery and terrible for the arteries.
Edit: I just found the entire movie on Youtube quite easily. I've decided to post it below for your convenience. Enjoy!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Not only was 976-Evil a very entrancing film, but Robert Englund (Mr. Freddy K. himself) directed the darn thing. Now, how about that creeps? A movie directed by one of the coolest actors of the 80's and I had no idea as a child in Kroger while holding that worn VHS tape in my hands. If I did, I would have given the film a shot since I was at the peak of my Freddy obsession. Anyways, 976-Evil is a good 'watch it with your friends' sort of movie. I watched it solo for the first time and by the second time I had a room full of college kids with more than enough beer and liquor in their bellies so you can only imagine what the atmosphere was like. For those who are wondering what this movie is even about I'll summarize:
The film begins with a business man walking through the vacant streets of a small town. He appears frantic and worried and upon the verge of Nic-Fit city. Suddenly we hear a phone ringing (which, oddly is located at the end of an alley) and the man eventually, after much debate, picks it up and moments later the booth explodes. Fast foward to the next segment (and pretty much the rest of the movie) where we have the pleasure of meeting Stephen Geoffrey's (Fright Night) and Patrick O'Bryan's (976-Evil I and II) characters. In a nutshell O'Bryan stumbles upon this gimmicky service that dispenses advice on how to deal with one's problems (Dial 976-Evil for your Horrorscope...yadda yadda, push 666 to receive message, yadda yadda). O'Bryan (Spike) is able to use it to his advantage, but Geoffrey's (Hoax) is so impressionable that his repeated use of the service turns him into a demonic, freaky-looking imp.
Helping to firmly establish the obvious inspiration from "Carrie", 'Hoax' is saddled with an overly religious nut-job of a mother (film veteran Sandy Dennis), who, much like Piper Laurie in that other movie, was probably encouraged to go for broke in her performance. I personally feel that Dennis, in the end, just winds up being very annoying and lacks any form of fright. Her over-the-top Southern Baptist accent exaggerates its way right into a blender of Looney Tune heaven and does very little to capture the true essence of the classic Bible Thumper personality we have all encountered in our lives (in some way or another).
976-Evil contains some fantastic moments of hilarity, cheese, gore and sentiment. Hoax and Spike's relationship reminds me a lot of my childhood fascinations with the older kids who smoked cigarettes, wore ripped jeans and basically 'did what they wanted to.' Hoax's character is so damn pitiful and watching him get beat on by Spike's friends is just unbearable at times. The last 20 minutes or more of the movie are just phenomenal though and I guarantee you that the popcorn will fly for sure.
Definitely worth checking out my friends. Not to mention, you get to see 'ol Lezlie Deane for a good chunk of the movie before being offed by....well....you'll just have to see.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Aliens punish one of their own by sending him to earth. The alien is very violent, and when the body he occupies is damaged, he is forced to find another. Quoted as being a "Strange, unorthodox science fiction/horror film," this definitely sounds like something that would be up my alley. For sure. The trailer looks wild and I'd love to get my hands on a copy of this little gem. Check out www.vhsps.com for a kick ass VHS transfer to DVD package they've got goin on. I know I am.
Monday, March 15, 2010
For those of you who haven't seen Freaked just watch the trailer below. This movie changed my life and seeing it at an early age was a definite factor in the style of my artwork. Everything I did had to have huge eyes, emaciated bodies, exposed, stained teeth and a LOT of pimples. Enjoy!:
Thursday, March 11, 2010
When I'm not working on Victor and Boris, graphite dog portraits, writing and recording music, or chasing after my almost three year old daughter, I'm working on what you see here. The image to the left was done fairly quickly and treated in Photoshop. My goal was to create something instant and childish. Working as a paraprofessional has really opened my eyes to the world of art in the mind of a child. When I ask a student to draw a friend or just a person in general their pencils hit the paper like a moth to a flame and without much thought. They just quickly sketch a figure, dot some eyes and add some hair. The end. So, I guess you could say I wanted to bring a lot of that into the new material I've been working on.
Quentin Blake, illustrator of almost every single Roald Dahl book, is one of my biggest influences. I was first exposed to his work when I was fairly young and always copied his drawings (especially from THE WITCHES) onto my notebook paper when I should have been taking notes. There is so much beauty and innocence in his line work and one glance at his illustrations induces a youthful placidity not present in a lot of artist's work these days. If I can achieve emotions of any kind similar to that of Mr. Blake then sign me up.
Anyways, there ya have it. Not a whole lot of images to work with but I will upload more tomorrow when I get everything together. I'm in much need of some Faber Castell Brush Pens, but they are so freakin expensive! All I'm really interested in are the gray tones. The new stuff I'm working on, as well as Victor and Boris, will be black and white and done on illustration board. There are also new things brewing as of late. I'm currently brainstorming a good name for a comic label, but so far nothing is really sticking. Strange Kid has done a phenomenal job helping me and I am very grateful for his suggestions. Well, I guess this is goodnight. If you have any thoughts on the images above I would love to hear from you.
"A Circus of the Mind..."
...The existential tagline read as I held the worn videocassette in my hands back in 1991. Though I had no clue what existentialism was at the age of 7 I was very aware that there was a scary clown on the cover and knew that I was going to be renting that particular film in a matter of seconds. Every Friday after school my mom would take me out to dinner at the now deceased Hogans Hero's and we would order spaghetti and cheesecake. Afterwards we would always head over to either Kroger or Blockbuster Video to rent a scary movie. I still remember pulling into the parking lot of Blockbuster, sitting in the passenger seat anxiously awaiting my moment of departure into the store and down the Horror section. My primary enjoyment was devouring the box art of each tape, honing in on the macabre imagery and reading the titles to narrow my decision. It was so much fun to just sift through all the different films and often times I didn't care what it was I was renting, it was just the act of searching that pleased me. When I came across Clownhouse I was on a big zombie kick (Return of the Living Dead was just digesting from the previous week) so I was a little indifferent about renting it. I had never seen anything other than Killer Klowns from Outer Space, which really just made me laugh more than anything, so I was feeling the excitement creep in little by little as I flipped the box around in my hands. The fact of the matter is that the movie just looked creepy, ya know? I eventually showed it to my mom, who shivered with excitement as well, and we headed to the front counter to pay for the movie while also snatching up a box of Sour Patch Kids and Movie Popcorn (extra butter!). Only one thought meandered throughout my mind: Tonight was going to be something special, something special indeed...
The synopsis of the film is pretty simple: Three brothers are left alone to look after one another for the night while mom is away. A short while into the film we find the brothers at the local carnival (the youngest brother, Casey, has an acute phobia of clowns by the way). Meanwhile, three dangerous mental patients escape the local asylum, kill some clowns, steal their identity (sounds silly, I know, but they're mental patients for goodness sakes), and slowly but surely make their way to the three brother's rather humongous house. Thus begins Victor Salva's psychological, bloodless, suspense-o-rama, CLOWNHOUSE.
Victor Salva's mainstream debut (he would later direct Powder, Jeepers Creepers I and Jeepers Creepers II) is one of the most important films you've never seen. Seriously. To those who have seen the film will agree that it shadows early Carpenter (ALWAYS a good thing), scares the living graveyard out of you without becoming intrusive and forced, captures the eerie/spooky sensation of being left alone in the house at an early age, and employs a fantastic score that digs underneath your skin like a rusty shovel. I watched this movie and literally thought that I was going to die. I was scared out of my mind! All I kept thinking was at some point I was going to glance at the living room window and see a moonlit face caked in grease paint. As a little boy, seeing a movie like Salva's Clownhouse was as good as it got for me. I remember being terrified, but more importantly, due to Sam Rockwell's performance, I also felt a sense of relief. There is a lot of humor in the film and Rockwell's commanding nature (he really is the biggest asshole of a brother ever) really helps to settle your nerves (or strangle them depending on how much of his personality you can tolerate). One of my favorite lines stems from the gypsy scene where we find Casey receiving a palm reading. During the scene the woman states, "This, Casey, is your loveline: still small..." and as she continues to speak the camera cuts to Rockwell who then replies with, "...like his pecker." I watched the movie recently and almost completely forgot about that line and it really struck my funny bone. There are other intense moments as well, like the scene where the three brothers finish telling ghost stories and start chanting "THE CLOWNS ARE COMING!! THE CLOWNS ARE COMING!!" Completely unaware that the clowns were down in the yard playing with a noose hanging in a tree (another bone chilling scene that just seems so damn unnatural).
There is a lot of mention in the film about being afraid of the dark; the unknown. Basically, just fear itself. How do you confront your fears? Do you hide? Do you run away? Can you summon the strength and courage to fight? All questions we ask ourselves when we encounter the schoolyard bully or as Stephen King put it in his novel, Danse Macabre: The Thing without a Name; the creature in the darkest recesses of the basements of the world; the Lurking Fear in the woods at night. Even in the new wave-ish tune, with lyrics like "don't be afraid of the dark, sweetheart", that we hear on the radio in the house and from the stylish vocalizations of big brother Randy as he and Casey skip through the woods, we can't escape the 'face your fears' theme that dominates the film even if we try. The song itself is rather catchy (I personally love it to be honest), but a lot of reviewers argue that it just doesn't fit with the rest of the eerie score. Depending on what age you were when you first saw the film I'm pretty sure the pop tune was the least of your concerns.
I could go on and on about Salva's Clownhouse but I feel this entry might become a little excessive. In short, it's definitely not a perfect movie, but then again who cares about perfect right? I certainly don't. There are several memorable scenes (one of my favorites is when Randy is tinkering with the fuse box and as the lights strobe we see one of the clowns run across the room directly behind him). Chilling, absolutely chilling. Of all the movies I own, Clownhouse is definitely the most viewed. A lot of my friends find this odd but I guess like anything else in our adult lives we like to remember the "better times" we had when we were younger. One of those better times was hanging out with my mother, eating a huge dinner with her, renting scary movies every Friday and getting up early on Saturday to watch cartoons before heading outside to play in the woods all day, eagerly awaiting nightfall so we could build a campfire and roast marshmallows. My friends, I just do not believe that there is anything better than that, do you?
"No man can hide from his fears; as they are a part of him, they will always know where he is hiding."
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Folks, I am absolutely saddened by this news. Due to an apparent accidental OD, Mr. Haim is not with us anymore. Though his movies were pretty much forgotten halfway through his career let us honor him for the delectable buffet of classy ones he left behind for us to enjoy and digest for the years to come.
Thank you Corey Haim. Thank you for being a part of my childhood and hanging out with me every Friday night after school. Your role in Silver Bullet left me thirsting for more and watching you endure as a Lost Boy only induced emotions of excitement and adventure. Watching your films will never be the same now. And I just cannot believe this incredibly melancholy news. You will be missed my friend. You will be missed.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
My good pal Strange Kid and I have decided to have a weekly "Draw-Off" in order to boost our motivation to create more artwork. Kid explained this to me the other day while we were talking on the phone and suggested we do this as a sort of exercise to keep the creative neurons firing. I realized last night that I really don't have a lot of comics posted just yet and I think it's about time that I 'get to work' as they say. My debacle is lack of internet access and lack of having a scanner readily available to get my comics to the net. Once I work out some kinks then I should have something uploaded almost every single day which was my plan in the very beginning. Anyways, back to the Draw-Off discussion.
Each week we're going to create something based on films, novels, magazines, music, food, etc. and the idea here is to just...well...draw. It can be a sketch, scribbles, fully realized idea, wadded up pieces of paper, WHATEVER. The whole point is to regurgitate SOMETHING no matter how digested it might be.
This weeks topic just happens to be HOBGOBLINS. Kid suggested this to me the other day and I couldn't agree more that this is an excellent idea. Now, Hobgoblin you ask? Yes, Hobgoblin, but not just ANY Hobgoblin. A Hobgoblin based on the 1987 film starring Tom Bartlett, Paige Sullivan, Steven Boggs and company (a movie we had the privilege of viewing during last weeks Fright Night). Let me tell ya folks, this movie was something special, but more on that later.
So, come Friday make sure all you boils and ghouls head on over to Strange Kids Club to check out his Hobgoblin. Heck, submit your own if you feel like it! Why not make it a party.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
I never wanted to begin my post this way, but jeesh:
A CGI FREDDY COMING THROUGH THE WALL?!?!? WHAT?!!? How is this possible?! This is absolutely ridiculous to the point of being absurd!! Sorry folks, I just can't stand it any longer. I mean, seriously, how freakin difficult would it have been to build a wall similar to that of the original out of latex?! WHERE IS THE MAGIC PEOPLE!!! WHERE IS THE MOVIE MAGIC WE'VE ALL BEEN EXPECTING?! I must admit that I was semi excited about seeing this film but now after seeing this new trailer I'm just emasculated to be honest. And why the hell is his voice different in two different scenes?! His face looks different in several scenes as well. A lot of people bashed the voice from the first trailer but I definitely prefer that one to this new Christian Bale Batman era crud. Here's an idea, WHY CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT THE VOICE AT ALL? Why not keep it normal? If anything keep the effects to a minimum so he doesn't sound like someone who has a frog in his throat. I guess the new menacing little ditty these days is to deepen the voice using a little method I like to call CGA (Computer Generated Audio). Pretty soon we won't need actors anymore, just computers. Ahhhh, wouldn't that be the life?
I'm so tired of these movies. I'm tired my friends but yet...I still go and see them no matter what. Why? Because of faith. Faith that I might be proven wrong. Faith that what I see on screen will be pleasing, hilarious, gruesome and horrific. Faith that Michael Bay really DOES have a giant groin and isn't compensating for anything with his EPIC celluloid. Faith that someone will remake a movie like Carpenter did with THE THING or Adam Sandler with CLICK. Faith that the horror genre is moving in a completely different direction than it is now. Or just faith in general that somebody in Hollywood will hire some people who actually DO love horror movies. I'm sorry people, you just don't ask someone who has been directing music videos to remake A Nightmare on Elm Street; you just DON'T!
It's bed time now. All that I ask is for Robert Englund and Jackie Earl Haley to meet up with me for a crazy game of connect four. Maybe afterward we can build a bonfire and tell ghost stories together.
Sounds ideal to me.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Do you remember the films of Full Moon Entertainment? Seriously, do you? Well, lets refreshify your memory:
You may remember enjoying or not enjoying, depending on what your preferences for B-movies are: Demonic Toys, Castle Freak, Subspecies, Dollman, Shrunken Heads, Lurking Fear, Head of the Family and all of the countless, "extra cheese please!" celluloid ever created in the movie industry (quite arguable I suppose). All I know is that I grew up with Full Moon so I can't help but reserve a soft spot for Charles Band and company in the darkest chambers of my heart. The slightest bit of excitement for their latest Puppet Master installment, no matter how horrible it may wind up being, is kind of comforting in a way that I can't really explain. Either way I'll give this one a handshake and a conversation. Let's just hope it's not that awkward first kiss that we all come to dread.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Wes Craven wrote and directed this surrealistic horror-comedy, which was inspired by a true story of parents keeping their children locked in a basement for years. Fool (Brandon Adams), an African-American teen, breaks into the home of the wealthy landlords who evicted his family from a ghetto tenement. A fortune in gold coins is rumored to exist inside, but Fool discovers that the mansion is a chamber of horrors presided over by a pair of incestuous, serial killer siblings (Everett McGill and Wendy Robie). The twisted couple has also tried to raise a succession of kidnapped boys. Each botched effort is handled the same way -- the victim's eyes, ears and tongues are removed, and he's sent to live in the sealed-off basement, where a colony of similarly deformed "brothers" resides. Fool is able to avoid the evil lovers as he moves through the house's maze of hidden passageways. He discovers that the occupants have a daughter, Alice (A.J. Langer), who has survived their abuse, so he rescues her and they attempt to free the "people under the stairs."
We all remember those times in our youth when we went strolling around the 'ol neighborhood with our pals, chatting away about building forts, jumping over cracks so we wouldn't 'break our mother's backs', ducking behind bushes when cars would drive past, sneaking cigarettes or torn pages from someone's dad's skimpy magazines, and we definitely...most DEFINITELY took an alternate route past the Spooky House at the end of the block. Like the tagline of The People Under the Stairs states: there was a lot of avoidance when it came to dealings with the unknown.
"I wonder what He does to them?"
"Old Man Jones, dude!"
"W-w-ho is Old Man Jones?"
"You've GOT to be kidding me right? Old man Jones? He's only THE most infamous kidnapper in Mulberry Grove! They say he still lives up there, all alone, waiting for that one perfect moment to snag another child so he can cook him up and put him in his stew."
"Oh, Bologna. That story isn't true. It's just something your parents told you so you wouldn't go snooping around some old guys house. Let's go..."
And the rest is history. Now, I don't know about you guys, but I definitely had experiences like that growing up and I definitely made sure I was home before those streetlights turned on. The same applies to the first time you ever saw Stephen King's IT on television and never walked past another storm drain again. Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs is a perfect illustration of these apprehensions, but unfortunately never quite reaches its full potential to frighten the audience into sleepless nights and visits to the town psychologist.
More than likely, depending on what age you were when you first saw this film, you were either scared to death or you turned the VCR/DVD player off halfway through and called it a night. After reading a few reviews of the movie I gathered that the majority of the viewers who were disappointed didn't particularly care for the comedy aspect and I can understand that. I can also understand why some reviews stated that the film was "all over the place" and was very "cartoonish" at times. I on the other hand thought the comedy helped to balance the over-the-top behavior presented by Everett McGill and his delicious companion Wendy Robie. I mean, seriously, the guy gets his rocks off by dressing up in bondage gear while toting a shotgun around the house in search of the Thing in the walls (perfectly named Roach might I add). McGill's character is absolutely entertaining in this movie and his ramblings about religion and people "burning in hell" if they cross him is just too creepy and bizarre not to enjoy. There is an element of absurdity in the movie too which helps the viewer fully understand the total lunacy of McGill and Robie's characters. Whoever says that the bathtub scene when Robie throws A.J. Langer into the boiling hot water as punishment for getting her new dress bloody isn't horrifying then I must be off my rocker. Or what about the scene where we find McGill's character slicing off a piece of Spencer's flesh in the basement and slowly turning towards the camera, chewing relentlessly as Fool watches in terror. These are pretty horrific moments folks. Moments that a young viewer never forgets.
Either way you slice the cadaver it's still a great piece of entertainment and still has the ability to freak me the hell out. As my good bud Ron and I like to say:
"It certainly makes for a wonderful Saturday afternoon popcorn flick."
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
So, here we have our good friend Victor standing in front of the neighborhood cemetery awaiting a fresh meal. The ending of the strip is a bit G rated so those of you who were expecting a strong, bloody finish for our good pal Mr. Dog Walker are going to be let down. But don't fret! You will have plenty of gore drenched deaths in the comings weeks. It just felt appropriate to leave the ending to the readers imagination this time around. Let me know what you think. As the blog post states this is more of an ink test than anything. Now I shall leave you with our favorite zombie and infamous dog walker. Enjoy!
Budapest, 1489 is where our film starts off. In a dark castle everyone inside has committed suicide for some unknown reason. Two survivors are in terror and decide to kill themselves after a baby is thought to have also been killed. After their death we hear the baby cry out. Now, fast foward a few hundred years.
Set in an isolated ancient Bulgarian castle, 10 people have won a competition to attend said castle's grand re-opening to the public. Their host, Count Veselin (played by British TV actor Philip Davis), informs them that they are the first people to look around inside the castle for over 5 centuries. No one else has dared venture near it through fear of the local superstitions about demonic wolves prowling the area. The guests begin to look around, but of course it's only a matter of time before they slowly but surely meet their doom. With an unexpected blizzard engulfing the surrounding countryside (how convenient right?), the remainder find themselves trapped in the castle, with an unseen killer on the prowl.
However, when the bodies of their friends start turning up with their necks ripped open (amongst other things), it becomes apparent that what they are dealing with is something not entirely human. Could the old legends about werewolves be true, and what dark secrets is the Count harbouring?
Howling V: The Re-Birth was originally released in 1989. I first saw this movie when I was in elementary school (1991-93) and it was one of the first werewolf movies I had seen. Aside from the title of the film I was absolutely clueless as to what in the hell these people were apprehensive about. Since you barely even SEE the werewolf throughout the film I just thought it was some horrific beast or creature from the netherworld slowly feasting upon the sweet flesh of overly excited tourists. Either way the film truly frightened me and induced intense paranoia; the ticking of clocks seemed like emaciated fingernails on decayed window sills while my snoring dog in the kitchen was really the monster in the film slowly working its way into the living room to devour me.
I know that I definitely enjoyed the film when I was 8 and I still love it today. In fact, it wasn't until 2004 that I rediscovered it (Movie Gallery was slowly phasing out their VHS tapes and it was on sale for 99 cents). I re-watched it around Christmas time and relived those precious, macabre moments all over again. I'm almost positive it will never happen but it would be so wonderful if they would release this movie with a proper treatment on DVD. The DVD that I picked up a couple of years ago has an awful transfer (though I'm quite biased when it comes to that scratchy, decayed analog aesthetic) and is coupled with Howling VI: The Freaks (another great film in the series though...I know several people who definitely disagree). I would love to see some bonus features or a "making of" featurette. I guess I should be thankful I own a copy period.
The thing I love about this film is its ambiance. The atmosphere is incredibly eerie and the score shadows Jerry Goldsmith's epic movements in THE OMEN. Another quality I love about this movie is the Sherlock Holmes/Scooby Doo inspired "Who done it?" factor. You see, these guests have all been summoned to the castle because they all have one thing in common: a birthmark. The Count has led them all to the castle to finish what should have been done many years prior to this event (remember the screaming baby at the beginning of the post?) which is to destroy the werewolf before he/she can do any more evil.
The Howling V: Re-Birth is not a perfect film and many who view it today will definitely be turned off by it's late 80's cheese and mediocre acting but it's a chance that many should take. The budget is so low that we have to suffer through the fact that the werewolf is pretty much never seen. We get a few close-ups of its teeth and a couple quick shots of it attacking but we never get a good eye on the creature. Like I said before the movie is definitely based more on atmosphere and imagination which is something those gore-lovers are going to be disappointed with (most of the death scenes are off screen and subverted with boisterous screams).
All in all it's a neat little film that I have thoroughly enjoyed over the years and the entertainment value is high enough to deserve a late night viewing with a blanket and some popcorn. Just make sure to leave at least one light on...you'll need it.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I thought that I would take a terse moment to introduce my best friend/fellow collaborator, Rondal 'Strange Kid' Scott III, to you guys since he has been a very integral element to the Victor and Boris comic. I've been wanting to write a post about Ron's blog for some time now and now that I finally have a moment I figured I'd take advantage. Much like Mr. Scott stated on his blog we both met each other at Columbus State University while pursuing our degrees in Fine Art. The first time I actually spoke with this guy was when we were in a Paper Making and Book Arts course and I was telling him about the Rob Zombie concert I attended (I noticed in his cd case that he owned a Zombie album as well as a Coheed and Cambria LP as well). Not much evolved from that point until the end of the semester when he walked in on me painting a Clive Barker inspired composition and from that point on we did as much hell raising as we could together.
It was actually when we took a health course the spring of 2006 that our friendship blossomed and we both discovered our insatiable love for all things macabre and I would let him borrow old VHS tapes every Friday at the end of class. The rest my ghoulish freaks...is...as they say...history.
Ron's work is very inspiring to me. His works are sui generis and speak volumes in their simplistic yet carefully crafted births. His sense of design is flawless and very architectural and his advice is always cherished when I'm hard at work on sketches or any type of artistic endeavor.
We began collaborating when I was living in Phenix City, AL and for a brief period took a stab at re-creating the Universal Monsters of the 30's and 40's (even our good friend Mr. Max Schreck from Nosferatu)for our now extinct (at least I think it is...) Creepseed site. The characters can still be found on Mr. Scott's blog if you would like to check them out.
Living off bottled nostalgia and the Saturday morning cartoon sugar rush of the late 80's/early 90's Mr. Scott has become a scholar of all things 'pop culture' and his blog is the perfect illustration of that fact. Whether you're in the mood to browse about current graphic designers, illustrators, web designers, musicians or that favorite childhood horror film, Strange Kids Club is the place to be. I warn you though...once you enter you will need a good day to spare because it's quite addicting.
Well, there you have it. What are you waiting for? Grab your popcorn balls and your candy worms folks. Strange Kids Club is where it's at, as Beck once said.
But I warn you, like the Lament Configuration, you might have to summon a few Cinebites in order to escape.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I decided to take a break from Victor and Boris to work on a mini-comic that is yet to be named. I'm not sure where it is going to be honest. I thought I'd post some sketches to show my progress. I should have some Victor and Boris stuff uploaded soon once I work out some of the details. The letter addressed to me is from my friend, Alex Overall, who gave me the sketchbook I am currently drawing in. I had back surgery in 2002 and the sketchbook was all I could really interact with since I was immobile for three weeks. Slowly Downward was the name of our first band.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The comics you see with the two 'undead' characters are going to be used in another comic I'm working on. Like I said before...I included them here to show my process.
I will have more images soon.
The above image of Boris (the one on the right) is not the final version. I thought it would be funny to include a handle bar mustache (which got a little out of control) and now he just looks like a rapist. The final version will be posted later.