Wednesday, October 17, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 17

I've always been fascinated by "All Is Vanity" by Charles Allan Gilbert, and other versions of skull illusion art. You can learn about them and see a wide variety of examples here, here, and here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 16 - Movie 2

In Frankenstein 1970 (1958) Boris Karloff plays a descendent of the original Dr. Frankenstein. Disfigured for nazis for not cooperating with them he still lives in the family castle, but has been selling off the family heirlooms in order to buy laboratory equipment. His latest scheme is paying for a nuclear reactor by allowing a tv movie crew to film a Frankenstein movie in his castle. He also picks off the cast and crew, one by one, in order to manufacture the latest in his family's line of monsters.

This film is a real mixed bag. While I like the concept, Baron Frankenstein is pretty inept. After making his victims disappear, he keeps claiming they left, which is easily checked and found not to be true. He also activates his monster before giving it eyes, necessitating a second batch of invasive surgery to install them later. The laboratory scenes, and their pseudo medical gibberish are a bit of a chore to sit through, and the monster itself, as shown above, may be imposing in size, but is hardly enough to cause someone to die of fright (as happens with one victim). The catty banter amongst the film crew is mildly entertaining, but the bulk of this movie, sadly, is not.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 16 - Movie 1

There are many films in which Boris Karloff plays a kindly doctor, or social reformer, with good intentions, who ends up being turned into a murdering fiend. The Haunted Strangler (1958) is one of the better ones. Here he plays a novelist investigating a case in which a one armed man was hanged for a series of murders that were half strangulations, half slashings. He's convinced the wrong man was hanged and instead believes that the doctor who performed the autopsy on the hanged man was actually guilty of the crimes, especially since he suffered from left arm paralysis. Seeking the doctor's missing surgical knife, he finds it in the coffin of the convicted man. A exhumation is refused, so Karloff's character dig it up himself. He finds the knife, and once it's in his grasp he finds his left arm paralyzed and his facial features grotesquely contorted. He also finds himself compelled to murder. Once he returns to normal, he finds that no one will believe his story when he tries turning himself in, and the weird compulsion comes over him again, and again...

This film was very enjoyable, even though it starts off following the formula of many other films with a similar plot/theme. The film really takes on life during Karloff's desperate attempts to convince everyone of his own horrible crimes. Karloff puts in a great performance.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 16

Do you want to know what comic books scared the crap out of me as a kid? The one above probably would have had I owned it, but the one's found here and here certainly did.

Monday, October 15, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 15 - Movie

A murderous priest learns that his cellmate in prison committed a robbery in which the money was never found. When he is released from prison he sets out to find the robber's widow, and her two children, and to get his hands on the money. Soon, the children who have it on their possession, find themselves on the run from the never tiring patient pursuit of the evil man.

If John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) counts as a horror movie, then Charles Laughton's Night of the Hunter (1955) is most certainly one. Filled with gorgeous, haunting, and dreamlike imagery, the story is told from the perspective of the two children as they are pursued by this sinister, seemingly unstoppable, bogeyman in the form a very disturbing Robert Mitchum. Mitchum's character has all of the adults believing he is a generous, kind-hearted, man of God, while only the children know better. The film has a real fairytale quality to it.

This is a gorgeous masterpiece and it's a shame that Laughton never directed another movie after this.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 15

Halloween is the perfect time to read the works of Edgar Allan Poe. While doing so, take a look at this gallery of art illustrating Poe's works by Harry Clarke.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 14 - movie

The Evil of Dracula rounds out Toho's Hammer inspired trilogy of vampire movies and is a direct sequel to Lake of Dracula. This time, like Hammer's Brides of Dracula, the action takes place at a girls' school, where the headmaster's wife has recently died. The new psychology professor finds himself having dreams of the dead woman, and is soon caught up in the middle of a mystery where the students are beginning to fall ill with strange puncture marks on their breasts and pallid skin.

This one has some striking visuals, nice plot elements and Shin Kishida as a complex vampire who is cooly suave when in his non-predatory mode and completely feral when on the attack.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 14

Does your interior, or exterior need something to make it feel more Halloween-like? Try adding some ghosts. they are cheap to make, fast to make, and just require three ingredients. Take a look at the most popular post ever from my blog to learn how.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 13 - Movie

When a large box, which happens to be a coffin, is delivered to a lakeside residence, all manner of menacing and strange phenomena begin to torment poor Akiko. To her boyfriend it appears that her grip on sanity is eroding, due to some childhood trauma she experienced on that Lake,which she believes never actually happened. How could it have? It was too horrible. But, Akiko soon discovers that her childhood visit to a hidden European styled mansion which contained a dead woman, and a vampire was very real. Now the vampire is back to claim her.

Lake of Dracula (1971) was the second of Toho's Western inspired vampire movies. This one, even with it's Japanese sensibility, and dream-like narrative, is clearly patterned on Hammer's Horror of Dracula (1958). The vampire is very much in the Christopher Lee mold; tall, noble, but with an animal-like ferocity when on the offensive. The vampire here, actually comes of as even more feral than Lee's Dracula. The ending is directly lifted from Horror of Dracula. These movies are oddities in that they are visually stylish, and fairly mesmerizing to watch, but there's not much going on beneath the superficial veneer. They're a very entertaining viewing experience, but that experience seems to dissipate rather quickly when they are over.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 13

I watch a lot of horror movies during the month of October. With the exception of 2016, and 2017, during which I rewetted old favorites, I've blogged about each of them here during Countdown's past and present. Here's a list of everything I've watched during the Countdown beginning with 2006 and ending with 2014. If you're stumped for something to watch, or something to avoid watching, give it a look.

Friday, October 12, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 12 - Movie

When Keiko's brother fails to return from a visit to his girlfriend, Yuko, she takes her fiancé, Hiroshi to find out what happened to him. Yuko's mother claims he left after he found out that Yuko had been killed in a car accident just a few weeks ago. But, something isn't right. Keiko spots Yuko. Hiroshi investigates strange sounds, but is halted in his investigation by Yuko's mother, and attacked by her mute manservant, Genzo. After investigating in town, Keiko is more certain that Yuko is alive and that her brother is somewhere in that house. Hiroshi turns up something strange at Yuko's grave, leading to two deaths. What Yuko discovers is even worse.

The Vampire Doll (1970) is the first film in a trilogy of Western style vampire movies made by Toho Studios in the 1970s. The feel is very much as if Toho made Hammer movies, but with a Japanese sensibility fused onto it. Visually it's striking, and it has a very dreamlike feel to it as the plot unfolds. The cast is quite good, though these aren't any actors I recognize from anything else. I'm finally seeing this for the first time on glorious bluray, but it feels like a movie that I would have caught at 11:30 at night on a UHF channel way back when, and that's a complement. In a month of viewing more misses than hits, so far, this one's a win.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 12

Nothing beats werewolves drawn by the great Bernie Wrightson. Here are a bunch of them.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 11 - Movie

Three teenage girls use a ouija board in an attempt to contact Verónica's deceased father during a solar eclipse. They contact something, and whatever it is it's malignant and has no intention of leaving Verónica.

Verónica (2017) has a really nice build up and anchors itself in the mundane world of a high school girl almost single-handedly raising her three young siblings while their mostly absentee mother works an exhausting job late into the night. This ads a layer of vulnerability as we begin to question Verónica's mental state and whether or not the supernatural threat might be all in her mind. The children she's trying to keep safe may be in increasing danger just by her presence. In the end, though, Verónica doesn't quite get where it needs to. The build up, as I mentioned, works quite well, but the supernantural assaults, if that's what they are, aren't presented with much suspense, or real cohesion. It's often hard to tell what's going on.  There's also a bit of a distance between viewer and the the onscreen characters which keeps us from getting too involved with them when we need to most. The climax itself falls short of being a real payoff either. Based, loosely, on a real life incident which included the first time a police officer claimed to have witnessed paranormal events in their official paperwork, the end may have suffered from a perceived need to keep things close to actual events.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 11

The inside of our house gets decorated for Halloween in varying degrees of extravagance depending on time and the house we're in. This year things have pretty much been contained to the living room. Some of the decorations that can be found in our house, though not always all of these every year, can be found here and here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 10 - Movie

Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) flees from her relationship and ends up in a car accident. When she comes to, she finds herself shackled to a wall in an underground bunker, where her rescuer, Howard (John Goodman) claims he's saved her from some sort of apocalypse that's happened up on the surface. She'll now indefininately be his guest, along with Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.) a young man he took in just as the unknown disaster was breaking out. There's something off about Howard. There's a strong physical and psychological threat that emanates from him, and as the story unfolds, Howard's story starts to show some holes. Now Michelle has to convince Emmett help her find a means of escaping in order to find out what's really going on.

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) has no direct connection to Cloverfield (2008), "except its DNA", says producer J. J. Abrams, who saw the "Cloverfield" title as something of an anthology of unconnected, but like-minded films. This is a tight, suspenseful film, with outstanding performances. Goodman provides a hulking socially awkward menace, and Gallagher a not so bright homebody full of regrets. Instead shines in a performance that is able to externally project internal activity. We can see her thought processes carried out through her expressions and body language. She's constantly thinking, inventing, improvising, and fighting to find a way out of her situation, and we root for her every step of the way. This was my third viewing of this film, and I still find it pulls you in the whole time. 

31 Days of Halloween - Day 10

Every town seems to have at least one creepy, old decrepit house, one that looks perfect for Halloween every day, but also one that no trick or treaters would set foot near, not even on a dare. Movies have tons of these houses. You can find some of the best creepy houses from cinema here, here and here.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 9 - Movie

In Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), the two comedians graduate from a detective school. Their fist case involves a boxer who escapes from prison after being sentenced for the murder of his manager. The boxer wants to clear his name, and while they work their investigation against a group of crooks who fix fights, the boxer hides via the use of the invisibility formula used by Jack Griffin in the original The Invisible Man (1933).

Universal hit gold by combining the creaky comedy duo with their creaky monsters to great effect in Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), where the pairing made both the funny men and the monsters shine. No such luck for this outing which is just simply not that funny. What should have been a comedic standout with Lou in the boxing ring and the invisible boxer doing the actual fighting for him, was clumsily staged and seemed to go on for far too long. Overall, with this movie, there isn't much to see.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 9

One of the absolute best home haunt gimmicks I've ever seen can be found here. It's a classic and you can recreate it, or something similar yourself.

Monday, October 08, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 8, Movie

Greta (Lauren Cohan), a young American woman, flees an abusive relationship by taking a nanny job at an enormous mansion in the rural UK. She is barely introduced to Brahms, her charge who is an inanimate doll, before the parents are off to a much needed rest. Greta is left with a list of rules to follow in caring for Brahms, and the occasional company of Malcolm (Rupert Evans), a young local man who delivers the groceries. Brahms is a stand-in for the departed couples son who is said to have died in a fire twenty years ago. As Greta spends time alone in the house with Brahms, strange things start to happen and she becomes convinced that the spirit of the real Brahms inhabits the doll which seems to be animate. The question then becomes is Brahms a good spirit, or a bad one?

The Boy (2016) starts out promising with a great location, strong cast, beautiful cinematography, and what seems to be a serious attempt to tell a decent story, but its obvious really early one where the story is going to go, and even when a twisty element is introduced, which spoils everything the filmmakers set out to accomplish, the film goes exactly where you think it is. Along the way, there are some gaps in the storytelling that keep this movie from ever becoming more than a surface level thriller.

Also, if you are going to make a movie about a creepy doll, have the doll be creepy -- I don't mean over the top Annabelle creepy, but Brahms looks like a 3-D anime drawing, with features that are a bit somber, but well mannered. He's not frightening in the least. Because of this, it's hard to ever think that Greta could ever be in danger from Brahms.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 8

Though this wasn't part of a previous Halloween Countdown, it does exemplify the season. Here's what I found out when investigating one of the props found at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 7 - Movie 2

In The Shape of Water (2017) Elisa, a mute cleaning woman at a secret military facility outside of Baltimore, befriends, then falls in love with, the amphibious humanoid that is being kept there for experimentation. He sympathy for the fish-man lead her to wanting to save him from the true monster of the story, Strickland, the creature's keeper. This leads to a daring rescue carried out by the people that society ignores; a mute cleaning woman, a black cleaning woman, a gay man, and a spy with a conscience.

Guillermo Del Toro's romantic fairy tale set in the Cold War era 1962, won pretty much every award there was. Deservedly so. It is probably his best movie (though not my favorite). The script is superb, the art direction flawless, and the cast phenomenal, bringing layers of nuance to their archetypes. Everything comes together to form a perfect love letter to classic monster films and classic cinema in general. If you haven't seen it yet, you need to.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 7 - Movie 1

Today's viewing is of two very different movies involving merpeople. The first one is The Lure (2015) is about two mermaid sisters who come ashore in Poland for adventures among the humans, and who become strippers and back-up singers in a sleazy nightclub. The movie is a visual delight, but often seems all over the place, often to the point of losing sight of what it wants to be. Even through all of the distraction there are two parallel plot threads which hold it all together. The mermaids depicted straddle to line between Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid and the more monstrous mermaids of folklore. Silver, tragically, falls in love with the bass player of the band, and goes to horrible lengths to obtain true womanhood from the waist down, while Golden becomes increasingly consumed with hostility as her sister grows apart from her, and she finds it harder and harder to resist her own vampiric urges to feed on the humans who only want to exploit them.

As a horror-musical, The Lure is certainly not for everyone, but it's compelling to watch in its novelty. Marta Mazurek and Michelina Olszanska are riveting as the mermaid sisters, at once vulnerable and threatening, but always sympathetic.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 7

Cemeteries and Halloween go hand in hand. When we think of cemeteries, and Halloween decor based on them, we think of something akin to the photo above. In my searches online, I've found a lot of headstones, and tombs that are quite different than that. Quite different. You can see some weird ones right here.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 6 - Movie 2

In Curtains (1983) a group of young actresses head to a director's mansion to compete for the role of Audra in his next movie. They are killed off one by one by a killer in an old hag mask.

This movie seems to have a following, so I decided to take a look, even though I'm not a fan of the slasher subgenre. That status has not changed. The actresses are all very similar looking, even though each is defined by a single trait; ice skater, dancer, slut, etc. Their deaths are all improbably staged. A doll standing by the roadside that attracts no other motorist other than the intended victim. Another victim running through the woods, leans back against a tree to catch her breath. Guess who not only secretly kept pace with her, but happened to be waiting behind that very tree.

This movie was really dull and disjointed, which makes sense given it's trouble production. Tension between the director and producer over the tone of the film led to the director quitting with only 45 minutes shot. The rest would be filmed a year later. The whole film is just a boring mess. The hag? Not scary in the least.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 6 - Movie 1

In the Texas backwoods, a bunch of people keep showing up at rundown hotel that looks like it hasn't seen a guest in ages. The hotel owner is a big guy with some serious issues and a huge crocodile that lives in the swamp abutting the hotel's deck. The purpose of all of these guests stopping by the hotel is to provide fodder for Judd to feed his pet. Oh, and Judd likes to use a full-sized scythe to dispatch his victims first.

Eaten Alive was Tobe Hooper's follow up to his masterpiece, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). Loosely based on a true story, it lacks the raw, cinema vertité feeling that made TCM so successful. It's a mean, ugly movie with a grating soundtrack of near constant screaming and a painful electronic score. It's probably best viewed in an early 1980s 42nd street grind house, or not at all. This was a pretty dismal viewing experience. It may hold some curiosity for appearances by Carolyn Jones, Mel Ferrer, and Robert Englund. Every character in this movie is a disposable role.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 6

Above is a cut paper recreation of a Collegeville mask of the Metaluna Mutant from Universal's This Island Earth (1955) that I did as a private commission.

At this link you'll find a Halloween related piece I did just for the fun of it back when I was in college.

Friday, October 05, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 5 - Movie

We know all of the elements of the home invasion movie; masked killer(s), isolation from the nearest neighbors, cut power, the arrival of a neighbor and possible salvation, improvised weapons made out of household items. Husband and wife team (AbsentiaOculus)of Writer/Director Mike Flanagan and Writer/Star Kate Siegel know them too and make the effort to use those elements to their advantage in Hush (2016).

The story is pretty simple and straight forward. A deaf writer (Kate Siegel) is living in an isolated house as she struggles with her second novel. One night a masked stranger (John Gallagher, Jr.) arrives and chooses to terrorize her before killing her, using her deafness to his advantage.

Kate Siegel's character is one you can sympathize with, not because of her deafness, but because she is presented as a real person before the assault begins. She's smart and courageous and thinks before acting, making it seem entirely plausible that she's going to turn the tables on her attacker, who comes of as not the smartest, or most effective serial murderer. He comes of as a bit of an amateur, even though the notches on his crossbow tell is this is far from his first outing, and that maybe we are underestimating him. The best aspect of this film is that the outcome is never certain. Right up to the finish, there are no assurances that the writer is going to best her attacker, and it's just as likely that she's going to be one more notch on his crossbow.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 5

Halloween would not be Halloween without the headless horseman from Washington Irving's  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow riding through. You can examine my posts about the headless horseman here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 4 - Movie

I'd been looking forward to watching Maggie (2015) since I first saw the trailer. I was intrigued with the premise of Arnold Schwarzenegger playing an everyman father caring for his daughter (Abigail Breslin) who has been infected with a slow working zombie virus, and only has a few short weeks before she stops being the human daughter he loves and becomes the monster he must either turn in to a quarantine location to be destroyed, or he must destroy himself.

The intimacy of the scope of this film set against the backdrop of the now overly familiar zombie apocalypse scenario was one of the things that appealed to me, but not a whole lot happens in this film. It could be about any family coping with a member with a fatal illness, only with putrid make-up. The performances are all right on the money, and it was nice seeing Schwarzenegger in a quiet role, where he's conveying most of his inner turmoil through behavior more than words. The movie slowly leads towards one action which the filmmakers chose not to include, thus undermining the strength of everything that came before. There are enough moments in it to make it worth a look, but don't expect too much from it.


31 Days of Halloween - Day 4

It's never too early to decorate. If you need a special project to give your home that old haunted house look nothing is more classic than filling it with cobwebs. Here's how to do it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 3 - Movie

An island of fishermen, scientists, and alcoholics is menaced by killer crabs. Many of these are big, but really normal sized crabs, but one of them is about the size of a bus, and comes equipped with an impenetrable shell.

Island Claws (1980) is something of a leftover from the 70s range of environmental horror movies such as Squirm (1976), Food of the Gods (1976) Frogs (1972), Empire of the Ants (1977), Day of the Animals (1977) and Prophecy (1979). If you've seen any of those films you know exactly what you can expect from this one. There's a lot of talking about things that don't further the story, local color which has the same impact, drinking, walking around, and scientists working on experiments to increase the size of crabs (for food reasons) although there's nothing to link this work with the crabs attacking people, nor the existence of a giant crab. There's also a leak at a nearby nuclear reactor, which again is not made to be a direct cause on the behavior, nor size of the crabs, so it's all a bit confused. In spite of this, the path of destruction left in the wake of the giant crab is impressively done and adds some real suspense and awe. The giant crab itself, a practical effect, is actually pretty impressive, though maybe not enough to recommend this film.

As a bit of trivia the screenplay was co-written by Ricou Browning who played the gillman during all of the underwater scenes in Creature from the Black Lagoon.


31 Days of Halloween - Day 3

Spooky records were such a staple of my childhood, and something I still listen to every season. You can read about my two favorites here.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 2, Movie 2

In City of the Dead (1960) a college student (Venetia Stevenson) travels to a small New England town to research its history of witchcraft for a term paper. She uncovers more than she bargained for. When her brother and her brother both set out to investigate her disappearance they discover that witchcraft is still very much alive in this town.

This movie is filled with atmosphere; creepy character actors, fog by the acre, off-kilter cemetery, rich black and white cinematography, unsettling details. There are also some interesting parallels to Psycho (also 1960) which elevate the film from a simple supernatural mystery into something more complex and sinister.

This film also had some added charm for me. While the city of Whitewood, MA is fictitious, the driving directions on how to get there situate it not too far from where I currently live. I could get there in twenty minutes, or less, depending on how much fog is unleashed. As far as I know, we didn't have any witch hunts here on Cape Cod, and no one in New England burned them at the stake, as they do in the opening scene. For a film made in the UK they do a fair job of creating mythologized puritan New England.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 2 - Movie 1

Today's first movie only qualifies because of its subject matter, but even though most of the characters in Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) are vampires this is not a horror movie. Lovers Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) are the epitome of cool, but find their idyllic lives endangered by Adam's tiring of existing in a world where the primary occupants are bent on destroying it. The arrival of Eve's reckless sister brings further danger to their lives and drive them towards a more trying existence.

This film, by Jim Jarmusch is exquisitely beautiful, and moves forward at a purposefully languid pace that allows us more time to focus on the compelling characters that occupy the story. The past few years have given us some truly outstanding vampire movies. this is one of them.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 2

If you are looking for some craft projects that will fill your month up, here's a bunch. From monster busts. masks and miniatures to famous haunted abodes, you'll find them all here, here, and here

Monday, October 01, 2018

Countdown to Halloween - Day 1 - Movie 2

After an attack at a stable leaves one dead and two missing, a sheriff puts together a rescue party. The victims were spirited away not by Indians, but by something worse, violent, cannibalistic troglodytes.

Bone Tomahawk (2015), starring Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins and Lili Simmons is like a weird western version of John Ford's The Searchers (1956). The anticipation of bad things about to happen is palpable throughout. The characters, while archetypes, are also well rounded, and don't follow the predictable paths that you'd expect. The violence, when it's there is sudden, loud, and brutal. This is a really good, well made film, and I recommend it.


31 Days of Halloween - Day 1 - Movie 1

A young man, learning of his father's disappearance returns home to try and end the curse that's plagued his family for generations, uncovering dark secrets and terrible creatures which try to pull him into the same trap that's claimed his own father.

The Mill at Calder's End (2015) is a remarkable film. In the space of about 14 minutes, we get some of the best moody atmospherics, and a creepy Victorian ghost story filled with building dread, as well as the presence of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Barbara Steele. The characters are all played by incredibly detailed puppets, something which you often forget over the course of the film.

Everyone involved deserves a big round of applause. The art direction, lighting, cinematography, sets, music, script, direction, and voice performances are all top notch. There are so many beautiful and beautifully ghastly visuals in this film. One of my favorites is a moment when the light flickers across the family crest transforming it into a far more sinister image.

This is a really beautiful film and must be seen.

The disc also includes, director Kevin McTurk's earlier horror film told with, not as sophisticated, puppets, but still an impressive work, The Narrative of Victor Karloch.

You can order both films here.

31 Days of Halloween - Day 1

Welcome to my 13th Annual Halloween Countdown. This year has been a busy one for me and I have not had the time to devote to what I was hoping to offer up this year for my countdown. Instead, each day I will be offering up some posts from Halloween Countdown's past. I know this seems kind of lame (and it might be), but I began this in 2006 and every October has had at least one post a day, but more typically three, since there were daily movie viewings as well. That's a lot of posts. I also decided that nor everyone has seen every one of my Halloween Countdown posts going back to 2006, nor will they take the time to peruse them on their own (which you are welcome to do. Simply click on each year's October in the side bar). I've decided on a selection that both represented the presentation of ephemera found in a wide variety or sources, such as old magazines, as well as posts that exemplify what Halloween really means to me personally. There's a lot of good stuff in here, so check back every day to find out what's in store. There will also be a daily movie, and  in some cases two a day, though my time this year is pretty restricted.

To begin this year's Countdown, I'll begin by posting some interconnected posts on what elements I find absolutely necessary to a successful Halloween and my ideal viewing marathon if I could ever take the full day to just sit in front of the television, or better yet, a movie screen. You can find these posts here, here, and here.

Also, don't forget to visit my companion blog, The Grim Gallery, for monster goodness every day throughout the year.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Mad Scientist #33 now available for pre-order

Issue #33 of Martin Arlt's wonderful, Mad Scientist magazine is now available to pre-order )or, if you are attending G-Fest you can pick up a copy there). The issue is devoted to dinosaurs and features a wrap around cover that I created as a 3-D cut paper piece featuring the cast of The Lost World (1925). You can view the full contents, and also order, here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Quatermass and the Pit

Issue #40 of Little Shoppe of Horrors, the outstanding magazine dedicated to the films of Hammer Studios, is dedicated to one of my favorite genre films, Quatermass and the Pit. I created two cut paper illustrations for this issue which can be found among the outstanding articles, photos and artwork all behind this amazing Mark Maddox cover. This issue ships this month. You can find ordering information here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Grim Gallery

My companion blog, The Grim Gallery, has entered it's eight year of celebrating all things monstrous. If you like monsters in movies, art, or literature, take a look.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Work In Progress

Here's a sneak peak of a magazine cover I'm currently working on. Stay tuned for the completed image.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Hellraiser Revisited

The folks behind the Clive Barker Podcast have been revisiting the Hellraiser comics published by Marvel/Epic in the late 80s. This includes, so far, two of the three stories I contributed.

You can listen to the discussion of issue #8 here and issue #12 here.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

2500 Monsters

My sister blog, THE GRIM GALLERY, just put up its 2500th post. That's 2500 images of monsters from the screen, literature, pop culture and art. If monsters are your thing go check it out.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Recent Commission

This is a recent commission. Cut paper.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Ask Me Anything #62

After nearly a year's absence, Ask Me Anything returns.

On first Monday of the month you can usually find a post like this one allowing you to hit me up on any topic and I'll do my best to answer it.  Ask me anything you want.

Questions can be posted in the comments section below, and I'll either answer them there, or in a separate post sometime later in the month.

I've been asked a lot of good, thought provoking questions in the past as well as some really banal ones, all of which I tried to answer. You can see the previous questions by visiting Ask Me Anything  #1#2 ,  #3#4#5#6 , #7 , #8#9,  #10,  #11,  #12 , #13#14,  #15 , #16#17 , #18 , #19,  #20,  #21#22,  #23#24#25#26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35#36#37#38#39#40#41#42,  #43#44#45,  #46#47,  #48#49,  #50,  #51#52 , #53#54#55#56,  #57,  #58,  #59, and #60 and #61.

Answers not found following the questions can be found in the archives section for each associated month under Ask Me Anything.

Now ask away.