Thursday, October 02, 2014
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Lon Chaney, Jr. plays Bruno, the caretaker of the three Merrye children, and their uncle and aunts, all of whom suffer from a disorder that causes them to mentally regress starting in late childhood. When distant relatives and a lawyer arrive in order to secure the valuable estate and institutionalize the Merrye family, they discover more than they bargained for.
Spider Baby (1967) is demented and a whole lot of fun. Whenever you watch a movie and the character on the screen is watching a late night horror movie, the clips should all come from Spider Baby. The whole cast is really good in this, but Beverly Washburn, Jill Banner, and Sid Haig as the Merrye siblings really stand out as innocently dangerous mental degenerates. Ronald Stein's score is also wonderful here, and includes a terrific title song "sung" by Lon Chaney, Jr..
In desperate need of cash in order to move into her new apartment, Samantha answers a baby sitting flyer finding out that the job may be more than she bargained for. That in a nutshell is the plot for The House of the Devil (2009). This movie has a very small cast, with star, Jocelin Donahue in almost every shot. The movie builds very slowly, taking over half an hour before Samantha even gets the job, and then the bulk of the rest of the movie alone in the huge house with spoken of, but not seen, old woman sleeping somewhere above. The suspense builds nicely with the anticipation of something terrible about to spring at any moment keeping that suspense tight. But, like Ti West's other, and similarly structured film, The Innkeepers, by the time that something happens it feels like too little, too late. The danger, when if arrives carries with it none of the suspense, or tension that the build up to the danger did.
The movie is clearly about the anticipation about what's going to happen, than what actually happens. I admire West's willingness to build slow, as well as his direction, but if the payoff doesn't live up to the build to it, it makes everything feel like a waste of time. The film features a fine cast which also includes Mary Woronov and the always watchable Tom Noonan, but really needed a worthy finale to make the movie feel rewarding.
Welcome to my 9th Annual Halloween Countdown, during which the entire month of October will be dedicated to my favorite holiday. This year my countdown is very simple. I've stuck to a single theme for my daily posts which will be apparent once the first one appears a few minutes after Midnight, tonight.
I am maintaining my tradition of watching at least one horror movie per day throughout October. I will be posting what I watch as I go along with some basic observations for each movie. You'll find links to Amazon at the bottom of each of these pages. Even if you're not interested in purchasing the featured movies, please consider visiting Amazon via these links to purchase something else. By going through my blog, your purchase will provide me with some income which goes to defraying the cost of buying dvds to present you with each Halloween.
Beyond what you see here, my companion blog, The Grim Gallery, will be supplying visual tricks and treats throughout October, and each day for the rest of the year as well. Those of you who follow me on facebook will find further treats dropped into your buckets via regular posts of videos and other goodies.
Of course I'm not alone in my month long celebration of Halloween. To find out what other blogs are celebrating the season, please visit the Countdown to Halloween where you can also find out how to become a participant yourself.
Now is the time to don your costume and let the Countdown begin...
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Join me here at Midnight on October 1st for my 9th annual Halloween Countdown.
Can't wait? Visit the ghosts of countdown's past by looking in the archives to the right of this post. Every October, beginning with 2006, is chock full of tricks and treats.
If you are a Disney Imagineering fan, or a fan of weird art, and live within driving distance of Burbank, California, be sure to visit Creature Features today for the final day of The Museum of the Weird show. The show is a tribute to the work of legendary Disney Imagineer, Rolly Crump, see above with two of my pieces in the center background. The photo came courtesy of the show's curators, Rebecca Lord and Ken Daly who will both be on hand at the gallery today. Be sure to thank them for doing such a great job.
Somehow I was remiss in posting the news that Twentieth Century Fox bought the rights to adapt The Foundation, published by Boom! Studios. This series was created by Cody Chamberlain and written by me with art by Chee. The series focused on a group originally created by Nostradamus with the mission to keep his visions of the future from taking place.
This deal does not involve me, and I will not be privy to any information on the production should it move forward.
You can read about the announcement here, here, and here. You can order a copy of the trade paperback collecting the series at the link below.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
The "Museum of the Weird" show which pays tribute to legendary Walt Disney Imagineer, Rolly Crump, opened last night at Creature Features in Burbank, California. Rolly Crump is a big inspiration of mine, so I was honored to be part of this show and create artwork based on one of his unrealized projects for the Haunted Mansion (my absolute favorite theme park attraction).
I created three pieces for the show. The first two were my own extrapolations based on Rolly's sensibilities of exhibits that could have been found in the Museum of the Weird had it come to fruition. These were a collection of non-existent simulacrum beetles.
Above is "African Tribal Mask Beetles" collected by the Crump Expedition, 1934. 3-D cut apaper collage.
Below: "The Mephistopheles Beetle" Also 3-D cut paper.
My third piece was based directly off of one of Rolly Crump's sketches for the Museum of the Weird, "Aquarium with Ghost Fish" 3-D cut paper collage.
I really enjoyed making all of these and plan to continue with the simulacrum beetles in the future.