A feature length adaptation of this tasty short — courtesy of one Guillermo del Toro — is popping later in January. But the integrity and craft of this original short is exactly the kind of thing we love here at the DailyNightmare.
Had enough of the Holidays yet? Does it ever feel like holiday cheer is drilling into your brain? Then this delicious little clip might be just whatcha need!
Thanks to io9 for tipping me off to Bloody Cuts, a producer of high quality, short horror films. They’ve got a good handful of films created and posted so far and thematically they run the gamut from urban folk-horror to zombie apocalypse to, well, my personal favorite is the supernatural child-terror of “Suckablood.” The camera work is sharp and the special effects are for the most part effective. In perusing the credits, there seems an oddly large number of folks with the last name “Franklin” involved — maybe they’re like the Ramones…
Bloody Cuts have run an Indie-Go-Go fundraiser but if you enjoy quality short horror as much as I do, feel free to use the “Donate” button to slip ‘em a bit of cash.
Those purveyors of premium schlock, Troma, have released a whole slew of their full length movies on YouTube. Great fun. They might not be exactly fitting with our “snob” reputation here at the DailyNightmare, but Troma has a full four decade legacy of producing authentically independant films… or at least movies. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, that’s an impressive track record. And they’ve released films that they distribute too like “White Zombie” with Bela Lugosi, considered the first zombie movie.
THIS FRIDAY – November 18th, 2011 – is the red carpet world premiere of “The 13th Sign” downtown Detroit at the Filmore. The film stars members of Cleveland-based dark industrial musicians Mushroomhead. The band will also be playing at the premiere. Come on out and support Midwestern horror.
A couple things appeal to us about “The 13th Sign.” First of all, I can’t say that I’ve ever attended a movie premiere in Detroit before, let alone for a horror film. May their numbers increase. I wanna see fright flicks premiere everywhere across the Midwest, in decrepit movie palaces and sleazy bars, in run-down urban centers and suburban malls and even at classy places like the Filmore. Let there be MORE Midwestern horror.
Furthermore, “The 13th Sign” looks like a serious horror movie. Not to disrespect purveyors of comedy-horror or camp but we at the Dailynightmare just have to tip the top hat to folks trying to make sincerely scary material. It’s so hard to do. The story seems to be occult-flavored torture which isn’t everyone’s cup of brew, admittedly, but for crying out loud, at least it’s not another zombie movie.
Here’s the teaser trailer (and here are links to other video bits)
And one of my favorite Mushroomhead videos (“Solitaire Unraveling”)
We at the DailyNighmare simply LOVE it when non-horror-related websites post about ooky phenomena like lycanthropy. And you can’t get much farther away from horror than the mild-mannered activity of map-making — I mean apart from that famous serial killer / world explorer from the 16th C. I forget his name at the moment. It made all the history books…
The kind folks at BigThink.com link it to the lycans with this lovely post about a famous map of the British Isles. Devoted fans of the genre are long ahead of the cartographers, and we must forgive their non-professional opinions on the allegedly greatest horror-comedy film — oops, I’ve said too much — but check out the post
And share the luv.
Three Corpse Circus took over the historic Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor, MI last night, Devil’s Night and presented four hours of short horror movies. Yup, four whole hours of films, contests and costumed tomfoolery. If you weren’t there, you done goofed up bad. I spoke briefly with one of the organizers Jonathan Barkan who says they hope the Circus will grow to be more than just a film festival, that Three Corpse Circus might become a rallying point for the horror community in Michigan. Last night was a excellent start.
The films were better than I’d feared, a notch above the mixed bag you’d expect from a college town. A couple were real gems. Others were arty and experimental. Some cute and amusing. And to be frank, some were unspeakable, trite, poorly shot, not acted at all… dumb. Bad even for Youtube. But what I saw last night were movies I never would have seen elsewhere. Most of the pieces had some aspect that was pretty interesting. Their failures were mostly in consistency. Technically, I suppose many of the movies were “mediocre” but I mean a kind of expectant and exciting mediocrity. They left me with a sense of anticipation, that I’m really interested in seeing the NEXT movie by these film makers.
A great example of this category is “The Lair.” (http://www.thelair-movie.com/) The acting was more than good enough, much better than many commercial horror movies. There was evidence of actual script composition and, egad, character development, again a relative rarity in short horror. Competent editing built actual suspense and didn’t rely on cheap jump scares, well, not excessively. OK so the setting was the tried and true deserted campground and, granted, the premise wasn’t the most original. But the piece was generally effective. If I had to be a dick – and critics are supposed to be dicks, right? – the footage shot at night was too grainy. But where else would I have had the opportunity to see this film except at a film festival like Three Corpse Circus?
A gem of the evening was “Connected,” one two offerings from Denmark. (http://www.ov43.com/) Clocking in at barely 8 minutes, “Connected” gets in, does the job and gets out and it does so ENTIRELY WORDLESSLY. Great futuristic costumes, a convincing post apocalyptic backdrop and a clear situation, conflict and bleak resolution. It was probably dark science fiction more than straight out horror but, damn, it was a joy to watch. And again, I never would have even heard of it if I hadn’t attended the Three Corpse Circus.
The true highlight of the evening for me was the other Danish film Opstandelsen (“Ressurection”) which was as good a zombie movie as I’ve ever seen – and this is coming from someone who doesn’t find zombies particularly compelling. The movie is shot in and around an old austere church and incidentally, they shot the HELL out of this location. There are scenes in the sanctuary, the basement, UNDERNEATH the basement, the bell tower… I’ve whined in the past how easy access to fantastic ancient locations can make even crappy European movies into something watch-worthy, but the makers of Opstandelsen squeeze every bit of ambience from this place. It’s not just a cheap and easy backdrop. The prosthetics were first rate and relatively understated. The blood and gore was believable and I think the tone of its color grew progressively darker until the blood was nearly black by the end. The make up especially on the female survivor was exceptional. By the end of the movie, she was basically wearing corpse paint – her skin so pale as to be nearly white with drippy spatters of dark blood around her eyes. Lovely! The script showed off nice characterization with juicy familial strife. All three of the primary survivors had character arcs that led to satisfying conclusions. Damn, it’s hard to find something to complain about but, perhaps the range of the acting was a bit constrained – one character always stuck on high, another on low with the coke-snorting protagonist being a nice blend. I’d have to see it again before I said it was perfect but since it’s a 50 minute movie, a length too short to distribute commercially and too long for the internet, there is likely NO chance I would have been able to see it at all except at a film festival like Three Corpse Circus.
You’ve picked up on my take-home message by now. If you’re into horror and you’re in Michigan, get to the next Three Corpse Circus. It was well worth while this year and every indication is that it’s just going to continue to get better.
Dolls are creepy. Dollhouses are creepy. And when dollhouses are the setting for crime scene re-creations – correction, MURDER scene re-creations, well, that’s creepy-delicious. To add the perfect touch, the narrator is John Waters. (No, he’s NOT the ex-singer for Pink Floyd.)
I’m not that a true-fan of zombies as a mega-genre but this credit sequence has enough crack-snapple-and-bop to get me interested in seeing the actual adaptation of the long-running comic “Walking Dead.”
And of course, here’s the actual trailer:
As a footnote to the post from yesterday about how vampires suck, er, that is, how they don’t seem to suck anymore, here’s the obvious video clip. I know you’ve already seen this clip but I still crack up when I watch it.
Lovely work here. These are clips of a sea monster projected on water mist. Very, very effective even with Youtube video quality. Sony created the beast to promote the movie “Water Horse: Legend of the Deep” though honestly, to my eyes, the promotion looks WA-A-Y cooler than the movie. Am I the only one who things something like this should have been done for “Cloverfield?”
(Male 30′s) This wasn’t so much a nightmare as a really strange dream. Then again, maybe it was a nightmare. I dreamed that my therapist asked me to house-sit her apartment. I know, I know. There’s absolutely no way that this would happen in real life but I didn’t think anything of it in the dream. So she evidently leaves and I stop by and I’m not really certain what I’m supposed to do. It’s a small apartment, basically a large one bedroom with a kitchen at one end and a living area at the other. It’s very stylish though. She’s got this huge floor to ceiling bookcase though, and it’s absolutely filled with DVDs. I had to chuckle because whenever I bring up a movie, she always makes me explain what I mean. She’s got all the classics: Casablanca, Citizen Cane… But then she’s also got a whole shelf full of horror movies. And by horror, I mean those nasty torture / slasher movies that seemed so popular a couple years ago. For instance, she had like THREE copies of “The Toolbox Murders.” These weren’t classics and they weren’t even very good horror movies. They were the kind of movies watched by folks who like watching grisly, twisted violence. I tried to tell myself that it must just be a professional interest or something. But seeing those, it felt funny at first and then a little sickening and then I was rather scared, like I should really be getting out of there.
Stop motion animation of any kind is a labor of love. Sure, computers have made some aspects slightly less tedious but the technique still involves taking hundreds of pictures and moving figures thousands of times. So even on a merely technical level this short claymation video is impressive.
But also consider the sheer quantity of gore in this clip. It would be impossible or at least highly cost prohibitive in most other kinds of video. The storyline too is fine. The same producer made earlier pieces that are much rougher.
(The Grim Gnome) I don’t like vampires, generally speaking. The whole rule-bound / old-world / invitation-only aspects make them about as scary as a supernatural Certified Public Accountant. Except for the ones in “30 Days of Night.” If you haven’t heard of this series you either have been moldering away in a casket or you’re metaphysically immune to the effects of horror-culture. A few years back, writer Steve Niles and artist Ben Templesmith wove together a freshly twisted premise with spattery exuberant artwork and pumped life back into the genre of the horror comic. The fresh twist on the vampire rules that gets “30 Days of Night” rolling is obvious from the title; if vampires hate sunlight, then what if they attacked a place that didn’t have much of it, say, a city located near the Arctic circle? What if a whole ragtag clan of vampires threw a party of sorts during the month of darkness and attacked the whole town. Add human hero. Stir well. Garnish with a nasty skewer at the end and, heck that’s what started the juggernaut. I really have to recommend it. Quite highly.
A sequel picked up the storyline and propelled it forward, again ending with a sickening little twist. And a third, completing a classical trilogy, right? If I understand the chronology correctly, the movie started development around this time and the comics kept coming. A collection of tales appeared, including a rather dumb one about vampires in space. Some of these feature artists other than Templesmith and honestly, I feel cheated with those issues, especially cheated when the artist is attempting to make work that sort of / kind of / almost resembles Templesmith’s art. So though I can’t highly recommend them all — one reason I can’t is because they’re STILL making new ones — I still have to confess I’ve bought and savored every one of them.
Niles’s other comics are nothing to ignore… but for the moment I WILL ignore them, or to be more exact I’ll postpone looking at them until another post. Who knew that comics would work so well for horror? I sure didn’t. I thought the EC’s Crypt Keeper was just weird and, OK, so I was afraid of “The Tomb of Dracula” but I was kid back then. I even thought “Dark Shadows” was scary.
And then there’s the “30 Days of Night” movie. I admit that I felt an actual quiver of excitement when I first heard Sam (“Army of Darkness”) Raimi’s name connected with the project. Alas, it was only as a producer. There are parts of the movie that are very good. For instance, some of the shots are very haunting, like an aerial tracking shot that shows the carnage of the initial attack. And throughout the movies human faces seem to have unusually de-saturated color which makes everyone look cold .. and then also makes the blood really pop out. And I really appreciated that at least a couple times when humans were standing outside in sub-zero temperatures that there were clouds of condensation when they breathed or spoke. As curmudgeonly northerner, I can’t STAND fake winters on screen. My comments don’t sound like a love-fest, though do they? Perhaps I’m grumpy for paying good money to see the movie in the theatre. I’m a stingy curmudgeon. But furthermore, I can’t help but thinking that the comic book was scarier. There was a LOT of back story in the comic book that was simply removed for the movie, so much that there doesn’t seem to be much possibility for a sequel. I was honestly pretty shocked that so much editing was required because I don’t usually consider comics to be that dense when it comes to story line.
“30 Days of Night” – the movie – comes out on video this week. Though I don’t feel unusually COMPELLED to see the movie again when it comes out on video, if I’m honest with myself, I’m pretty sure I will. If for no other reason than it will remind me of how much I loved the original comic.
(Female, early 30′s) I remember this dream from when I was a child. I must have just seen the movie “E.T.” which is a charming movie except for the part at the end where E.T. has been captured and is in quarantine. He seemed so sad and in such distress. My dream takes off from there. The wall paper in my childhood bedroom was covered in tiny dolls, each probably 3 or 4 inches tall. In my dream, each one of them was a space alien, a space alien as cute and vulnerable as E.T. The walls themselves were transformed into some kind of quarantine for the cute little space aliens. I tried to close my eyes so I didn’t have to see them anymore and it felt like there was a little alien floating over both of my eyes.
This is just dumb-dumb-dumb but kind of fun anyway. True film-snobs will note that it’s only a paraphrase of the original and not a shot for shot remake which could be an interesting “finger exercise” for would-be filmmakers. Just imagine how many different ways this iconic scene could be re-envisioned while keeping the same editing pattern, possibly even the same soundtrack: an unsuspecting shrub that gets pruned, blissfully unaware mise-en-place that gets shredded into mire-poix, etc. Incidentally, if you actually try any of these variants, let me know and I’ll post them as well.
But now, on to this installment of Friday Night Movies: