Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thale, the Trailer

A lady with a tail? A some weird uber creepy creature that reminds me of the skinny,  diapered zombie wreck from REC? I'm in. Check out the trailer for this Norwegian fantasy/horror movie.ere

Friday, January 20, 2012

Walking Dogs - Shiver

I want to let you in on a little secret. You know what really scares me? Sure, there is the usual stuff like politicians, cancer, Kardashians, and liver, but also dogs. More specifically, dogs walking upright, like people. Cute, clever, endearing? Some would say, but not me.  In the context of a circus maybe, but just out and about? No freaking thanks.

There was a time when I would try and watch America’s Funniest Home videos, but too often there would be a clip of a dog walking around and I would have to look away or, as I decided, just to never watch the show. Don’t get me wrong. I love dogs (and cats) but when they walk around on hind legs, well, my skin crawls a little. It’s unnatural and unnerving. Does it creep you out?

Here in the blogosphere we spend a lot of time talking about books and movies that scare us, but how bout the other stuff. Do you have a “walking dog” type scare that you can share?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't Order the Blue Crab

Here's an old post -- the source of this pretty little photo collage. Are you curious? Have a look, just don't eat the Blue Crab. So looking forward to this.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Legendary Pictures Godzilla Art Concept - Not

If you are tracking the new Godzilla movie in the works (very early stages of in the works) you might like to read about these two art concepts that were rejected. I think the top one is pretty good actually, but who knows what beef someone had with it. Much closer to the original than that crazy f------ mess Emmerich fathered into filmdom.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dolls Parts

Here's a little creepy-ass eye candy for those of you who get doll willies ... for more, click here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Role Reversal -- Creatures Beware

I would love to see Julie Adams cradling the Creature from the Black Lagoon in her arms. Doesn't work with the overall premise behind the poster here, but would still be funny. A little. Click here to see a few more and to get the scoop behind tiny Kong. Would love to see a whole series (more than 3) of these.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Robert Aickman - Horror Master

Have you ever read Robert Aickman? I hope so. 
His are the kind of slow-burn, psychological horror stories that have me picking my beard after just a few pages. These are the kind of stories that haunt and build suspense through suggestion, by artfully leaving out. And the writing itself, very polished, literary. There are moments you find yourself uncertain about the meaning of a scene, an image, a statement. This is not your garden variety uncertainty, like not being sure exactly what time it is; ambiguity and uncertainty in Aickman’s work ooze a kind of subtle menace that coils like hot dread in your gut. The first Robert Aickman story I ever read is called The Trains. I would say this about the story. If you have ever ridden on a train, you might have noticed that as you pass through small towns that people on the streets will often wave. Mostly kids I suppose. In this story, there is a reality behind “the wave” that might just take your head off. S-c-a-r-y.
Here are a few strokes for Aickman by two very good horror writers:

“Robert Aickman has a gift for depicting the eerie areas of inner space, the churning storms and silent overcasts that engulf the minds of lonely and alienated people.  He is a weatherman of the subconscious.”
   --Fritz Leiber

“Robert Aickman is incomparable - a genuinely authentic original and an absolute master of psychological fiction.”
   --Dennis Etchison

Side note: I can’t prove it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Etchison’s incredibly good story “It Only Comes Out at Night” and then again “The Dog Park” aren’t guided in part by Aickman’s hand.

Here’s a quotation from Aickman:

"I do not regard my work as 'fantasy' at all,  except, perhaps, for commercial purposes.  I try to depict the world as I see it ... I care about the literary art, and I know exactly what the Ancients meant by 'the promptings of the Muse'.  The stories which I consider to be my most successful came to me as if dictated...  The true ghost story is akin to poetry:  only in part is it a conscious construction, and when the Muse does not speak, you cannot write it."

    -- “An Essay”

More background on him here and here. With a little Christmas money in my pocket, I just order used copies of Wine Dark Sea and Cold Hand in Mine from Should be arriving any day now.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Horror Stories - What to Leave Out & Jeffrey Ford

My reading has reached junkie proportions now and shows no signs of letting up; in fact, the list of books "in transit" that I requested through our local library and its partners (Search Ohio and Ohio Link) is mighty hefty indeed (Think I'll just back a truck up to the library).

  1. The corn maiden and other nightmares / Joyce Carol Oates.
  2. Dangerous laughter : thirteen stories / Steven Millhauser.
  3. The knife thrower and other stories / Steven Millhauser.
  4. Assorted fire events : stories / David Means.
  5. Best horror of the year : 1 / by Ellen Datlow.
  6. A Walk on the darkside : visions of horror / edited by John Pelan.
  7. Proverbs for monsters / Michael A. Arnzen        
  8. Borderlands 2 : an anthology of imaginative fiction / edited by Thomas F. Monteleone                
  9. The collected stories of Carol Emshwiller.            
  10. The early Long / Frank Belknap Long      
  11. Owls hoot in the daytime and other omens / edited by John Pelan.       
  12. A touch of strange [by] Theodore Sturgeon
  13. Fugue state : stories / Brian Evenson ; with art by Zak Sally.        
  14. The Anchor book of new American short stories / edited by Ben Marcus.
  15. Samuel Johnson is indignant : stories / Lydia Davis.       
  16. Assorted fire events : stories / David Means.    
  17. The secret goldfish : stories / David Means.       
  18. The Barnum Museum : stories / by Steven Millhauser.
  19. The Mammoth book of best new horror. Vol. fourteen / edited and with an introduction by Stephen Jones

Actually, many of the books on this list fall under headings such as Fantastic (in the tradition of the weird tale perhaps) & Fantasy -- not "horror" -- though guys like Evenson regularly end up in Best Of horror anthologies. But these are all slippery terms so why bother I suppose.

Much of what I have been reading is more traditional horror (creature, supernatural, etc.) from various anthologies--quite a few of which seem pretty uneven cover to cover, with four or so really good stories, some mediocre, and some just plain old duds. By 'really good' I mean both very well written and very scary; but too many of the stories are painfully overwritten IMO. Details elaborated on or explained that don't need elaboration. Events or happenings interpreted that don't need interpretation. I mean, what the hell, you just gotta trust the reader to make some leaps and "get it" along the way. Otherwise you end up writing a map complete with a "let me spell everything out for you" legend it seems, not so much a story. One collection I recently finished, Jeffrey Ford' Empire of Ice Cream, had 3 superb stories: The Beautiful Gilreesh, Boatman'sHoliday and The Trentino Kid. 

I think about Carol Emshwiller and a short piece she penned on writing rules to break, specifically the "leaving out" idea would benefit some of these stories I have been reading. If you have read any of the books on the list above, would love to hear your thoughts.