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October 2002x



halloween linkage roundup


I devoted much of October 2002 to collecting various Halloween-related links in celebration of my favorite holiday. This page is a collection of exclusively horror-related linkage.

(Image courtesy Cool Archive)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/15/2002


Friday, November 01, 2002x


halloween roundup


Last night I took the girls trick-or-treating up and down the block. Cecilia dressed up as a bat; my lovely wife made her a set of bat wings, and I made her some ears. Naomi was a cat, which pretty much meant black sweats and a pair of store-bought cat ears and tail. Despite the fact that less than half the houses on our block had their porch lights on, the girls cleaned up in terms of candy, and Cecilia was very charming as she clambered up the various porch steps, knocked on the doors, and said "Trick or treating!" Eventually they got so loaded up that I stopped bringing Naomi up...there's no way she's going to eat that much candy, and if she did we'd have one wired toddler on our hands.

After the girls settled down for bed, we watched our new DVD of Halloween. All in all, it was a very pleasant and special holiday.

Here's the roundup of all this year's Halloween-related posts.

posted by Gregory Harris on 11/1/2002 //



Thursday, October 31, 2002x


trick or treat, safely


If you're taking the kiddies trick-or-treating (and I will be, myself, later on), bear in mind these safety tips from CNN. And don't forget the list from the Indianapolis Star I cited earlier.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/31/2002 //



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horror film list of the day


The staff of Salon.com list their picks of horror movies and TV shows they'd bring to a horror movie marathon.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/31/2002 //



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halloween comic of the day


fox trot comic
Fox Trot is really funny today.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/31/2002 //



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horror movie review site of the day


My friend Sparky emailed me last night to let me know he's been writing DVD reviews of horror movies for a horror-oriented Webzine called Horror-Wood, which also features an interview with renowned writer Richard Matheson (I Am Legend, The Night Stalker, lots of Twilight Zone episodes, many more). Sparky's October column will be visible for the rest of the day and replaced tomorrow, but you can always check out the extensive review-age in the archives.

Cool stuff! I had no idea.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/31/2002 //


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horror wallpaper of the day


halloween movie wallpaper
Happy Halloween!

(courtesy Dreadful Mirrorz)

halloween movie wallpaper
As a bonus, here's another wallpaper based on Halloween--indeed, another collage of images of the Shape--courtesy Horror Attic.

The guys at Stomp Tokyo have reviewed the entire Halloween (IMDb entry) series: Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween 6: The Producer's Cut, and Halloween: H20.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/31/2002 //


Wednesday, October 30, 2002x


zombie screenplay link of the day


George A. Romero's original (and ultimately rejected) screenplay for the Resident Evil movie. Speaking of which, here's the original, unproduced screenplay to Romero's third installment in his zombie trilogy, Day of the Dead, and the script to Dawn of the Dead.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/30/2002 //



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...and another


I seem to have reached the character limit on the post below, but I did want to add this interview with George Romero at The Onion. Enjoy!

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/30/2002 //


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horror wallpaper of the day


dawn of the dead wallpaper
Today's horror wallpaper shows zombies roaming a shopping mall in a scene from 1978's Dawn of the Dead, George A. Romero's superlative sequel to the 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead. A deft blend of horror, comedy, gore (supplied my special effects master Tom Savini, who also makes a couple of cameo appearances) and social commentary, Dawn surpasses its excellent predecessor and stands as perhaps the definitive zombie movie. Indeed, its success in Europe spawned the legion of Italian zombie movies we know and love. Dawn was released in Italy as Zombi; prompting Lucio Fulci's 1979 not-exactly sequel to be released as Zombi 2, arriving in the US called simply Zombie. As the guys from Teleport City point out, the situation is reminiscent of the whole Big Boss/Chinese Connection/Fist of Fury naming debacle that affected Bruce Lee movies.

Here's a tribute to Romero at House of Horrors, Zombie Farm: the Dawn of the Dead Preservation Page, a review at Creature Corner, a review at Cavalcade of Schlock, and a look at the movie from PhillyBurbs' 2002 Halloween Guide. Don't forget to see the reviews I linked earlier, as well.

(courtesy Horror Attic, once again; also available at ScaryMovies.com.)

dawn of the dead wallpaper
As a bonus, here's another wallpaper based on the Dawn of the Dead teaser poster. I don't remember where I found this one last year.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/30/2002 //


Tuesday, October 29, 2002x


horror film list of the day


Speaking of Bruce Campbell, here's the man's own picks for the best and worst horror flicks of all time, courtesy of his official site.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/29/2002 //


Monday, October 28, 2002x


horror wallpaper of the day


evil dead ii wallpaper
Today's classic horror wallpaper is from Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, Sam Raimi's wonderful follow-up to his landmark low-budget horror flick The Evil Dead, featuring an ultra-cool, ultra-manic, ultra-groovy Bruce Campbell (official site) battling demons with his trusty chainsaw and shotgun.

Here's Roger Ebert's review, plus reviews by Badmovies.org ("Here is one of the great bad movies!"), And You Thought It Was Safe! ("Here's the proof. Sam Raimi is totally nuts. And I love it."), the Mutant Reviewers from Hell ("You haven't really lived until you've seen this flick."), PhillyBurbs' Zombie Guide, and The Vault. And here's a review/essay by Dr. Freex of The Bad Movie Report that discusses the Evil Dead flicks in light of the decline of the American horror film.

(courtesy Horror Attic)

As a bonus, here's another wallpaper based on the Evil Dead 2 video box, courtesy Ren's World of Horror.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/29/2002 //


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zombie link of the day


I gave a passing reference a few weeks ago to a Halloween special edition of the PhillyBurbs Web site. Their 2002 edition once again contains a comprehensive Zombie Guide featuirng a history of zombie films, a look at zombie master George A. Romero's next project (w00t!) and a horde of reviews, including Lucio Fulci's Zombie and Peter Jackson's insanely great Dead Alive. I watched that flick again the other day, and when it was over I felt it was the best film ever made. I'm sure I'll change my mind the next time I watch Casablanca or Citizen Kane but for now, it rules.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/27/2002 //


Sunday, October 27, 2002x


zombie movie wallpaper of the day


zombie wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is from the 1979 Lucio Fulci horror picture Zombie, which I picked up for ten bucks at Best Buy the other day and watched just this morning. (Reviews at Teleport City--which hosts reviews of several other gory Italian zombie flicks, as if there were any other kind--Stomp Tokyo, and Badmovies.org .)

(Courtesy Dreadful Mirrorz)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/27/2002 //



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horror wallpaper of the day


frankenstein wallpaperAs we celebrate the final countdown toward Halloween, the last batch of wallpapers are going to be from the coolest horror flicks ever (not that they pretty much haven't been all along). Let's kick things off with an old-school reference: some classic Universal horror, in this case James Whale's 1931 classic Frankenstein, which launched the long horror career of a British actor named William Henry Pratt, who achieved fame under the stage name Boris Karloff.

resident evil wallpaper
As a bonus (and to make up for not postying one Saturday), here's wallpaper from Capcom's new version of Resident Evil for the Nintendo GameCube, courtesy Capcom's official Resident Evil site. In an unusual move, rather than creating a sequel for the platform, Capcom remade the original Resident Evil game to take advantage of the GameCube's more advanced capabilities.


posted by Gregory Harris on 10/28/2002 //



Friday, October 25, 2002x


halloween safety link of the day


halloween clip art
Courtesy of The Indianapolis Star are these tips from local polics about keeping your little trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween:
• Wear light-colored clothing that's short enough to prevent tripping. Wear shoes that fit.

• Wear light-colored costumes. Add reflective tape.

• Make sure children can see well through masks. A safe alternative is to use makeup.

• Adults should accompany young children.

• Go out in daylight. If going out after dark, carry a flashlight.

• Map out a safe route. Stay within the neighborhood and visit only homes you know.

• Keep costumed children away from pets. A pet may become frightened and possibly aggressive.

• Avoid hard plastic or wooden props such as daggers or swords. Substitute with foam items.

• Stay on sidewalks and cross only at corners. Walk, don't run.

• Watch for traffic.

• Give and accept only wrapped or packaged candy.

• Examine all candy before allowing children to eat it.

• Should you find a suspicious item, contact police as soon as possible. If injury is involved, call 911.

For more information, see this longer list at SafeChild.net. And check out the Halloween rumors and horror stories at the Urban Legends Reference Pages.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/25/2002 //



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monster research paper link of the day


Here's an interesting research paper on emotional responses to things that are similar to human appearance and movement. Originally conceived as an aspect of robotics, the study explains why creatures like zombies can be more horrifying than bizarre, inhuman monsters. It begins:
Japanese roboticist Doctor Masahiro Mori is not exactly a household name — but, for the speculative fiction community at least, he could prove to be an important one. The reason why can be summed up in a simple, strangely elegant phrase that translates into English as “the uncanny valley”.

Though originally intended to provide an insight into human psychological reaction to robotic design, the concept expressed by this phrase is equally applicable to interactions with nearly any nonhuman entity. Stated simply, the idea is that if one were to plot emotional response against similarity to human appearance and movement, the curve is not a sure, steady upward trend. Instead, there is a peak shortly before one reaches a completely human “look” . . . but then a deep chasm plunges below neutrality into a strongly negative response before rebounding to a second peak where resemblance to humanity is complete.

This chasm — the uncanny valley of Doctor Mori’s thesis — represents the point at which a person observing the creature or object in question sees something that is nearly human, but just enough off-kilter to seem eerie or disquieting. The first peak, moreover, is where that same individual would see something that is human enough to arouse some empathy, yet at the same time is clearly enough not human to avoid the sense of wrongness. The slope leading up to this first peak is a province of relative emotional detachment — affection, perhaps, but rarely more than that.

(via BoingBoing)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/25/2002 //



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horror movie list of the day


Here's MSN Entertainment's picks of the top 10 Halloween movies. It focuses exclusively on post-Psycho era; none of the classic Universal or Hammer horror flicks are represented. The list's compiler, Dave McCoy, explains why: "The mark of a great horror film is whether it sustains its vision of terror through several generations of increasingly desensitized viewers. Does the movie still make you jump or squirm or sweat or scream?"

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/25/2002 //



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horror movie wallpaper of the day


deep red wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is a creepy desktop image from Dario Argento's excellent 1976 giallo Deep Red, which I watched last night. Here's a review at Teleport City and another review at Dark Dreams, an entire site devoted to Argento's films.

(Courtesy Horror Attic)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/25/2002 //


Thursday, October 24, 2002x


horror movie list of the day


Entertainment Weekly's 13 scariest classic Halloween movies, as voted on by readers of their Web site.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/24/2002 //



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what's up


Sorry for the delay in posting this morning's wallpaper. I spent the morning at the Central Indiana Regional Blood Center donating platelets. I used to do apheresis (platelet) donations all the time in Louisville; I was very pleased when the CIRBC called requesting that I do so here (apparently they liked whatever they found when they analyzed my blood from the last time).









Donating platelets is different from giving blood because the blood is drawn from one arm, spun through a centrifuge to extract the platelets (which help the blood clot) and the remainder--plasma, red cells, white cells, etc.--returned in the other arm. The process takes about two hours. The donation center is set up so that individual donors can view movies they select (I watched Jet Li's Black Mask (also starring the lovely and talented Francoise Yip), as there were no good horror flicks on the list), so it isn't an unpleasant experience at all. jet li in black mask
parasite eve 2 In other news, I was shopping for a birthday present for my nephew last night and saw the PlayStation game Parasite Eve 2 on sale, so I picked it up. I haven't had much time to look it over, but on first impression it seems very cool. It retains the survival horror elements of the original--in the opening story, player character Aya Brea must battle mutants amidst the bloody remains of a SWAT team the creatures have taken out--while exchanging the Final Fantasy-like turn-based combat style with a real-time system. I'm sure I'll enjoy it, and it was a bargain to boot.


posted by Gregory Harris on 10/24/2002 //



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horror movie wallpaper of the day


deep red wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is a creepy desktop image from Wes Craven's landmark 1984 scarefest A Nightmare on Elm Street. This film adhered to the tradition of having a succession of increasingly L4m3 sequels (and unfortunately marked the debut of the wisecracking killer), it does buck the trend on two notable occasions: the exceptional third installment, Dream Warriors, which marked the return of Nightmare lead actress Heather Langenkamp and Craven as screenwriter, and the 1994 New Nightmare, which took the bold step of casting veteran Nightmare cast Langenkamp, action stalwart John Saxon and Robert Englund--and Craven himself--as themselves (and as Freddy Krueger, in Englund's case) battling a Freddy who threatens to emerge from the mythical reality of the films. New Nightmare is a much more satisfyignly self-referential film than 1996's Scream, and I rented it the other day for a repeat viewing.

(Courtesy Dreadful Mirrorz)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/24/2002 //



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pr0n musical link of the day


debbie does dallas--the musical!
It's Halloween season, and as I may have mentioned, I've been doing my best to fill my brain with zombie movies, Italian horror films, bizarre Japanese thrillers, Peter Jackson insanity, and Roger Corman B-movies. (And not succeeding as much as I'd like, but that's a topic for another post.)

But this is just too twisted...the vintage '70s pr0n movie D_bbie D_es D_llas remade, with no nudity, as an off-Broadway musical.

(via SixDifferentWays)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/23/2002 //


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movie screenplays sux0rz


...and in other news, the sky is blue (thank you, FARK).


Here's a juicy rant about the deplorable state of screenwriting, and the author points the finger squarely at the writers themselves.

I think screenwriting has lost its edge. ...We’re making millionaires out of less than talented people. But that’s not even what’s at the core the problem. It’s just sloppy, unimaginative, and vile screenwriting. Recently I interviewed one professional screenwriter and asked him what were some literary influences in his life? He could not name one. ...How many professional screenwriters today do you think could pound out a decent novel? They’re not writers today, but merely facilitators. Often the best parts of a modern movie are the ones created by a technician sitting at a computer (CGI creation).

On the subject of screenwriting, Bravo has launched a series that follows the adaptation of several well-known novels to the screen.

(via Blog of a Bookslut)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/23/2002 //



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top horror film list of the day


psycho poster
About.com's Classic Movies section has an extensive list of quality horror films for Halloween viewing. It relies mostly on old-school (pre-1980) horror, with a heavy concentration on the classic Universal flicks like Dracula and Frankenstein, but it does give the nod to films like Dawn of the Dead and 1982's Poltergeist. (Although I might question the inclusion of The Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet--both monumentally great films, and not without a creepiness factor, but each fairly solid science fiction, not horror.) Here's About guide Brad Lang's highly credible personal Top 10 list.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/23/2002 //



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horror wallpaper of the day


salem's lot wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is another suitably creepy desktop background inspired by the Stephen King made-for-TV movie 'Salem's Lot.

(Courtesy Wallpaper Daily Project)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/23/2002 //



Tuesday, October 22, 2002x


halloween pinup gallery of the day


rendered halloween pinup
Here's a gallery of 3D-rendered Halloween-themed pinups courtesy Pinup Galleries, which features several other rendered and vintage image pages (safe for work).

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/22/2002 //


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horror movie wallpaper of the day


dawn of the dead wallpaper





Today's wallpaper is a rendered version of the teaser poster from George A. Romero's horror classic, Dawn of the Dead. Like Bride of Frankenstein, this sequel (to Night of the Living Dead) surpassed the original by including thinly veiled social commentary and not a little comedy (zombies slipping and falling as they try to cross an ice skating rink, for example). Check out the reviews at Badmovies.org, HorrorDVDs and Cold Fusion Video Reviews.

(Courtesy of Horror Attic)

dawn of the dead poster

While we're at it, here's a Dawn of the Dead screen saver courtesy of TUCOWS.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/22/2002 //



Monday, October 21, 2002x


local horror news of the day


From The Indianapolis Star: man who commited suicide by hanging himself mistaken for Halloween decoration.

(via FARK)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/21/2002 //



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site lists top 50 horror films


Movie site Box Office Prophets lists its top 50 horror films of all time, as voted by its readers. Its #1 pick is The Shining, which I don't really agree with, but other than that I don't have much of a beef with its Top 10.

Have you seen my own Top 10? (Not yet updated for this year, I'm afraid.)

(via FARK)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/21/2002 //



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lego horror site of the day


legodeath
LEGODEATH is a spiffy yet demented Flash-enabled gallery of various morbid scenes created with LEGO blocks. Categories include a torture chamber, methods of execution throughout the ages, and sceens of horror from the home and workplace.

(via FARK)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/21/2002 //



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classic horror movie wallpaper of the day


bride of frankenstein wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is from The Bride of Frankenstein, the excellent 1935 follow-up to James Whale's unforgettable adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel. Indeed, in the prologue Elsa Lanchester plays the story's author (and the Bride, uncredited, later on) as she tells her husband, poet Percy Shelley, and the flamboyant Lord Byron that the story didn't end with the burning of the mill at the close of the first movie.

The Bride of Frankenstein is one of the rare cases where a sequel actually surpasses the original. (Dawn of the Dead is another.) For starters, the monster learns to speak, so Boris Karloff gets to expand on the already impressive acting chops he brings to his portrayal of the Creature. In addition, the sequel picks up plot elements of Shelley's novel that were discarded for the first movie--the Creature's desire for a mate, and the old blind hermit befriending the hapless Creature. Viewed today, it's amazing the amount of subtext Whale was able to get away with in 1935.

By the way, if you haven't seen the 1998 movie Gods and Monsters, which portrays Frankenstein director James Whale at the end of his life, you should check it out. For one thing, you might be amazed to discover that Brendan Fraser really can act.

I downloaded this wallpaper last year and no longer remember where I found it, unfortunately.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/21/2002 //



Friday, October 18, 2002x


hello kitty link of the day


Sanrio's Hello Kitty goofs on The Blair Witch Project. A scream!

(via MetaFilter)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/18/2002 //



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horror movie review link of the day


And You Call Yourself A Scientist! is a unique movie review site. Its Australian proprietess is a scientists, and pays special attention to films' portrayal of science and her cinematic colleagues. She's reviewed an extensive library of horror films (even Friday the 13th Part 4, although she's careful to note that she didn't have to pay for that dubious privilege). Here's a quote from her current review of Bad Movie extraordinaire Exorcist II: The Heretic, which is also roundly skewered at Jabootu's Bad Movie Dimension:
In these days of unending re-makes and "re-imaginings"; of sequels and prequels and spin-offs; of absolutely relentless cinematic regurgitation, I would much rather watch an attempt to do something original than something I’ve seen a hundred times before under a hundred different names – even if, in the end, that attempt trips over its own aspirations and falls flat on its face in the mud – as is the case with The Heretic.


posted by Gregory Harris on 10/18/2002 //



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survival horror wallpaper of the day


resident evil wallpaper
I downloaded today's wallpaper for last Halloween and no longer remember where it came from. It's a cutscene from the classic Capcom survival horror game Resident Evil, from early in the game when the payer interrupts a zombie at its...meal.

Here's a review of the original Resident Evil game, here's a history of the RE series at videogames.com, and here's the reveiw once again at The Bad Movie Report that calls RE "the bad movie you play." And since I'm oplaying the Claire B scenario of Resident Evil 2, I'll take note of this online player's guide.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/18/2002 //



Thursday, October 17, 2002x


horror movie wallpaper of the day


the dead hate the living wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is another one from the great 1999 low-budget horror flick The Dead Hate The Living, courtesy of Dr. Eibon's TDHTL site at ZombieGirls.net. I've mentioned this fun little low-budget flick, directed by genre fan Dave Parker, before; it's a zombie movie for zombie movie lovers. (Have you checked out the reviews at Cold Fusion Video, House of Horrors, and The Bad Movie Report?)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/17/2002 //



Wednesday, October 16, 2002x


horror link of the day


Not much time to blog so far today (which is a pity, because I have a good half-dozen new links sitting on my desktop), but I did want to mention The Mutant Reviewers from Hell. It's a group of young reviewers who've looked at hundreds of movies and give their opinions, singly and collectively. They've even watched The Doom Generation so you don't have to. For your convenience, they also group their film reviews by category, including scary movies. Well worth checking out.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/16/2002 //



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horror wallpaper of the day


horror wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is some ominous and spooky horror story stuff from the wallpaper section of the Spanish-language horror site Tumbaabierta (translate it at AltaVista's BabelFish).

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/16/2002 //



Tuesday, October 15, 2002x


elvira considers retirement after losing gig


elvira
Cassandra Peterson, the actress who gained fame playing the campy horror movie hostess Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, will not host the Halloween spook-tacular at Knott's Berry Farm for the first time in 15 years. According to this article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Peterson is considering retirement.
"Every year, I have to spend another hour working out. Pretty soon I'll be spending eight hours working out just to fit in the costume.

...If I retire doing the character, I don't think the character has to retire," Peterson says. "There will still be caricatures of Elvira. You know, Dracula still works, and he's dead."

The Elvira character got her start in 1981 when a local TV station was looking for someone who was "sexy and funny" to host its late-night horror films.

(via FARK; image courtesy Elvira's official site)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/15/2002 //



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zombie link of the day


attack of the tweety zombies
Attack of the Tweety Zombies is a fun game on the official Looney Tunes site. It seems that Sylvester has finally offed his old nemesis Tweety, except the little bird now keeps coming back from the grave! The player steers Sylvester around to stomp on the Tweety zombies and duck flying bats.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/15/2002 //



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horror link of the day


October 2002 is the second edition of the Month of the Living Dead binge at Cold Fusion Video Reviews: a full month of reviews of zombie movies, such as the recent independent low-budget flick Siege of the Dead. While you're at it, check out last year's incarnation.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/15/2002 //


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horror movie wallpaper of the day


night of the living dead wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is poster art from George Romero's 1968 low-budget horror classic, Night of the Living Dead.

(Courtesy The Movie Forum)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/15/2002 //


Wednesday, October 14, 2002xx


horror link of the day


Scott Adams and Keith Allison at Teleport City have reviewed a number of horror movies--mostly Italian zombie and giallo flicks, Japanese creepiness, kung-fu zombie craziness, and a couple of bad slasher films. It's great reading and an interesting look at some different kinds of cinematic horror.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/14/2002 //


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horror movie wallpaper of the day


the fog wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is of John Carpenter's underrated 1980 ghost story The Fog (reviews at Cold Fusion Video Reviews, Badmovies.Org, and Opposable Thumb Films ), the cinematic follow-up to Carpenter's landmark 1978 classic Halloween.

(Courtesy ScaryMovies.com)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/14/2002 //


Sunday, October 13, 2002x


horror wallpaper of the day


skeleton wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is a 3-D rendering of a skeleton on a gallows courtesy of Funatismus, a German horror-oriented site. The site's 53 wallpapers include a number of horror-themed renderings as well as desktops celebrating horror movies such as 1987's Hellraiser.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/13/2002 //


Saturday, October 12, 2002x


halloween cd of the week


I'd downloaded the Quake soundtrack way back in May, and the MP3s pretty much sat in my download directory until last night, when I burned them onto a music CD. I figured Trent Rezonor's music would be appropriate Halloween background music (and I've been listening to the OSTs from the first two Resident Evil games and Parasite Eve way too much at work). I played the CD today, and it was just as I expected--murky, industrial, and ominous, a perfect background for the Halloween season. I expect this CD will be in heavy rotation until the end of the month.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/12/2002 //


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halloween wallpaper of the day


october calendar wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is an October calendar courtesy of PixelDecor, the site that provided the new Halloween background.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/12/2002 //


Friday, October 11, 2002x


halloween video of the day


wacky tv show
A downloadable full version of an installement of the horror/comedy variety show "The Hilarious House of Frightenstein" (featuring Vincent Price!).

Update: Great googly moogly! I downloaded it, and was surprised to discover I remember this show from waaaaay back in the '70s. It's truly bizarre but funny in a whacked-out kind of way. Vincent Price is a sort of MC who introduces the various sketches with odd verse. There's an oracle who drops his crystal ball, a character resembling Lobo from the Ed Wood flick Bride of the Monster, and the truly wacky vampire/puppet segment you see here. Quite a blast from the past!

(via BoingBoing)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/11/2002 //


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vampire story of the day


"Carmilla," the 1872 vampire short story by J. Sheridan LeFanu, which loosely inspired the 1960 film Blood and Roses (review) as well as a series of eponymous movies.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/11/2002 //


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horror pinup gallery of the day


vampirellavampirella

Here's a gallery of vintage images of the comic character Vampirella, and a set of photos of the artist's model.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/11/2002 //


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theft alert


In honor of my favorite holiday (y'all can tell, can't you?), I blatantly stole the background from annatopia's Halloween redesign. I hope that's okay, anna. M4d props to you, too, 'cause I think it looks pretty cool.

Update: In the comment thread, anna pointed out that my gratitude and admiration is properly directed to PixelDecor, which is permalinked at left.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/11/2002 //


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horror gallery of the day


night of the living dead box
Cold Fusion Video Reviews has amassed quite a collection of video boxes of George Romero's 1968 zombie classic Night of the Living Dead--collect 'em all!

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/11/2002 //


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horror wallpaper of the day


salem's lot wallpaper






Today's horror movie desktop is from the 1979 made-for-TV adaptation of Stephen king's chilling vampire novel 'Salem's Lot. Helmed by Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper, the adaptation of 'Salem's Lot proved a chillingly effective movie, especially considering its made-for-TV origins. Look for the full-length (three hour) DVD version instead of the 90-minute "feature-length" version edited for release on video. Hooper and a cast of familiar character actors (including David Soul, James Mason, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres, Elisha Cook Jr., George Dzundza, Barbara Babcock, Ed Flanders, and Fred Willard!) achieve the dual goals of invoking an atmosphere of dread as the small town of 'Salems Lot is taken over by vampires and creating some unforgettable episodes of horror. The memory of the scene in which young Lance Kerwin is awakened by the vampiric form of one of his friends scratching on the window brings chills even today.

(Second opinion at Cold Fusion Video Reviews)

Trivia: Viennese actor Reggie Nalder, who appeared uncredited as the Nosferatu-inspired vampire Barlow, starred that same year as Van Helsing alongside the likes of John Holmes and Annette Haven in a pr0n version of the Dracula tale.

salem's lot video box

(courtesy Carfax Abbey)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/11/2002 //


Thursday, October 10, 2002x


horror link of the day


Horrorview is today's site devoted to news and reviews of scary movies. They have an extensive library of short reviews (with handy ratings of how much nudity and gore a film contains) and a section devoted entirely to Asian cinema to boot (that's worth bonus points as far as I'm concerned). One unique feature is a section containing reviews of horror soundtracks. The diverse group of reviewers also hosts a "hall of shame" listing their all-time worst movies; it seems generally spot-on (how could anyone argue with the American version of Godzilla?), but hey, I love The Dead Hate The Living.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/10/2002 //


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architectural gallery of the day


abandoned places
Abandoned Places is a c00L photo gallery that chronicles the strange, sad appeal that empty, decaying building sometimes have. It's an interesting site, especially during the Halloween season. (Related link: Abandoned-Buildings.com)

(via MetaFilter)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/10/2002 //


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silent hill mini-review


Today's wallpaper obviously got me thinking about the Silent Hill game. Last Halloween it was the survival horror game I chose to obsess over, and it was an entertainingly creepy experience.

The gamer plays Harry Mason, a writer who somehow gets lost on his way to vacation in the town of Silent Hill. Awakening after a car accident, he finds his daughter Cheryl missing and the town…changed. Snow is falling in the middle of summer, and fog enshrouds the streets. (The fog effect was developed to avoid overloading the PSX’s graphics capability with the level of detail the designers wanted, but it proved so effectively spooky that the designers included it in the PlayStation 2 sequel, even though the PS2’s higher graphics power made it unnecessary.) Some of the city street end abruptly in yawning chasms, as if the very town were somehow torn away from reality as we know it.

silent hill screen shot
Pick up the ammo by that abandoned police car, Harry...you'll need it!

Even more frightening, almost all the town’s inhabitants have vanished, and monsters—from fiendish winged creatures to zombified dogs—prowl the streets. Although Harry has a handgun, ammunition is limited and worse, Harry’s a pretty lousy shot. One of the effective horror elements in the game are the weapons Harry collects. In addition to the standard shotgun—for which ammo is even more rare—and the useless but somehow comforting kitchen knife, Harry finds a variety of blunt instruments, from a steel pipe to a sledgehammer. Harry can conserve ammo by bashing in a few zombie skulls—but the clubs are slow and clumsy, and missing is bad news indeed.

Fortunately, Harry doesn’t have to fight every monster thanks to an outstanding innovation: Harry’s pocket radio no longer works in Silent Hill, but the presence of monsters cause it to emit a steadily louder burst of static. This excellent system means the player hears monsters long before they’re visible, and the static’s increasing volume ratchets up the tension as the player attempts to avoid or confront the thing.

silent hill screen shot
Harry finds himself in a twisted, nightmarish parody of the town of Silent Hill.

Another enhancement to the atmosphere of horror is a frequent change of setting. As Harry explores the deserted Silent Hill in search of his daughter, the town changes to a nightmarish parody of itself, a dark and twisted wasteland of rust and blood that’s positively creepsville. The eerie and bizarre setting of Silent Hill renders the various puzzles Harry must solve a logical part of the nightmare, instead of a frustrating and incongruous obstacle.

Numerous other nice touches abound. When Harry runs for an extended distance, he pants when the player stops running. The soundtrack is also a definite plus—the music alternates between sinister and melancholy, and the game abounds with subtle background noises, from the creatures' moans to to the faint air-raid siren in the alternate reality to Harry's echoing footsteps and the radio's warning static. References to other horror writers and their work are scattered throughout the town, from the street names to details hidden among the town’s scenery. The game creates an unrelenting atmosphere of dread that doesn’t rely on frequent combat; when fights are unavoidable, Harry’s limited prowess with a weapon lends a realistic touch to the game. The creepy atmosphere makes Silent Hill a fiendishly entertaining place to revisit, enhanced by the fact that the game’s multiple endings present obscure and mutually contradictory hints about how the evil gripped the small town. In fact, while I'm currently working through the B games of Resident Evil 2, I think I may just dust off my copy of Silent Hill between now and Halloween.

(Second opinion at PlanetPS2.com)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/10/2002 //


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survival horror wallpaper of the day


silent hill wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is from the seriously spooky PlayStation survival horror game Silent Hill.

More on Silent Hill at PlanetPS2.com, ZombieGirls, Central Silent Hill, this site and this site.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/10/2002 //


Wednesday, October 09, 2002x


flash game of the day


Destructionism-2 is a Flash-based target shooting game in which you blow away stick figures by clicking on them. I choose to look at it as a kind of zombie-shooting game:

  • the environment sort of resembles a multi-level shopping mall, a la Dawn of the Dead

  • the figures make odd noises when you "shoot" them

  • why else would targets walk so casually past piles of bloody corpses?

  • a head shot is 100% effective; they keep moving if you shoot the body (a second body shot drops 'em)

  • plentiful blood effects


(via Destroy All Monsters forums)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/9/2002 //


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zombie link of the day


zombie
Dawn of the Dead 2001 is an excellent Web site devoted to George Romero's excellent second installment in his zombie trilogy. It has character sketches, a description of Romero's zombie conventions, trivia, wallpaper, video clips from the movie and an essay by one of the zombie extras on his experiences with the film.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/9/2002 //


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halloween wallpaper of the day


suspiria wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is from the ultra-creepy 1977 Dario Argento movie Suspiria, which starred the lovely Jessica Harper as an American student investigating evil wierdness at a European dance academy. Like many Italian horror films, it derives much of its sense of dread from its nightmarish surrealism. (Reviews at Teleport City, ZombieGirls, ZombieKeeper, and The Mutant Reviewers from Hell)

(Courtesy ScaryMovies.com)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/9/2002 //


Tuesday, October 08, 2002x


zombie link of the day


zombie planet
Zombie Planet is the official site of a just-wrapped independent horror movie filmed around Lexington, Kentucky!

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/8/2002 //


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disappointing horror link of the day


HorrorHotel.com (link omitted deliberately) is apparently a gateway to a pr0n site...

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/8/2002 //


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horror movie link of the day


With only 23 days left until Halloween, it's high time to mention Ken Begg's roundup of horror movie capsule reviews at Jabootu's Bad Movie Dimension. Begg forgoes his usually lengthy review format to give you his picks of the all-time best in horror.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/8/2002 //


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halloween wallpaper of the day


the dead hate the living wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is from the great 1999 low-budget horror flick The Dead Hate The Living. Directed by genre fan Dave Parker, it's a zombie movie for zombie movie lovers, and quite a decent flick for all its low budget. (Reviews here, here (with an interview with the director), and here)

(Courtesy ZombieGirls.net)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/8/2002 //


Monday, October 07, 2002x


swank/retro/horror gallery of the day


bride of the monster poster
Look, a trifecta! RetroCrush presents horror movie posters featuring hideous monsters and comely lasses.

(via FARK)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/7/2002 //


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halloween note of the day


annatopia has a swell new Halloween-related design (archived image).

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/7/2002 //


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zombie link of the day


How to make a Zombie cocktail

Alternate versions here, here, here, and here.

Read an article about the Zombie cocktail here.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/7/2002 //


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horror wallpaper of the day


night of the living dead wallpaper
Today's horror movie desktop is from the classic 1968 George Romero flick Night of the Living Dead (Reviews at Teleport City, And You Call Yourself A Scientist!, BadMovies.org, ZombieGirls.net, and The Cavlalcade of Schlock).

Related links:
The Vault's page dedicated to Night of the Living Dead
A look at NOTLD from the Zombie Guide section of PhillyBurbs.com's Halloween issue.
Ghoul Next Door, the Web site of Kyra Schon, who played the zombified little girl. There are some interesting behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the film here.

(courtesy Carfax Abbey)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/7/2002 //


Saturday, October 05, 2002x


horror wallpaper of the day


halloween wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is of the Shape from the 1978 classic John Carpenter flick Halloween (reviews here, here, here and here).

(courtesy The Horror Attic)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/5/2002 //


Friday, October 04, 2002x


zombie site of the day


evil dead
ZombieGirls.net is a horror film review site that, as you might guess, is written by a trio of women. It sports reviews and commentary on a wide variety of horror movies--not just zombie flicks--sorted alphabetically and by category. The site sports lots of images, wallpaper, and more. ZombieGirls also hosts detailed sites devoted to such horror topics as the excellent zombie movie The Dead Hate the Living and the PlayStation creepfest Silent Hill.

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/4/2002 //


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horror flick site of the day


BioHorror.com examines biological themes in science fiction and horror. It features capsule reviews of movies and books that have a biologival theme, from the classic giant bug flick Them! to The Brain That Wouldn't Die to Logan's Run and the George Romero flick The Crazies (an excellent, underrated movie I've mentioned as well).

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/4/2002 //


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zombie goodie of the day


biohazard
As I mentioned in my review of the recent Resident Evil movie, zombie fans were disappointed when horrormeister George Romero's involvement with the project didn't pan out. But you might not know that it wasn't the first time Romero has been involved in a Resident Evil project: he directed a commerical for Japanese TV for the release of sequel Biohazard 2 (known here in the States as Resident Evil 2). Although the commercial was never broadcast Stateside, it is available on the Internet. Although it's only 30 seconds, you can see that Romero still knows how to make a zombie picture work.


posted by Gregory Harris on 10/4/2002 //


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(survival) horror wallpaper of the day


biohazard wallpaper
Today's wallpaper is inspired not by a movie but by a classic survival horror video game--Biohazard, the Japanese name for Resident Evil. Dr. Freex at The Bad Movie Report calls Resident Evil "the bad movie you play." It creates a wonderfully creepy atmosphere by providing a sure-fire forumla for dread: lots of zombies, and little ammo. Dr. Freex sums it up:
Resident Evil is a fairly standard adventure game: find keys, open doors, solve puzzles, try not to die. It's the desperate gunning down of beasties that make you feel like you're immersed in a George Romero movie, angrily cursing every missed shot, because each bullet is precious. Only a soundtrack by Goblin would have improved the overall feel.

By the way, Capcom's official Resident Evil site has a fairly pointless Shockwave game that lets you try out the various weapons in RE: Code Veronica X at a pop-up zombie target.

(courtesy Resident Evil Universe)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/4/2002 //


Thursday, October 03, 2002x


zombie link of the day


zombie
ZombieKeeper--"Horror movie reviews from people who watch horror movies"--is an excellent movie review site. Of course it concentrates on horror movies, especially those in the zombie genre. It is a great resource for information on low-budget and shot-on-video zombie flicks. It Best in Horror selection is also pretty solid, IMO.

(image courtesy Badmovies.org)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/3/2002 //


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satanic link of the day


Here's an amusing tidbit for the Halloween season...
Protest of school Satanic club a flop

SAN MATEO -- Police came to San Mateo High School Tuesday prepared to deal with a rally of parents protesting the school's backing of a club based on Satanism.

But the officers milling around the school's performing arts center were left with nothing to do.

While the new club called The Satanic Thought Society has received attention nationwide, there's been little brouhaha locally over the group started by two 10th-graders who just wanted to stir up controversy and study an alternative religion.

..."They (club members) say they're not practicing rituals. Not yet," [a parent who organized the abortive protest] said. "When you start choosing to worship darkness, there's something wrong there."

But San Mateo Union High School District superintendent Tom Mohr as well as the club's founders have said it is not about devil worship.

"I wanted to make it clear that these kids are being supervised properly and they have an outstanding adviser," Mohr said.

(via email from Musashi)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/3/2002 //


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horror wallpaper of the day


dracula prince of darkness
I'm in a Hammer mood this morning, it seems. Today's wallpaper is from the 1966 Christopher Lee flick Dracula, Prince of Darkness, the sequel to the awesome Hammer flick The Horror of Dracula. This one did not star Peter Cushing as Dracula's nemesis, but did feature Hammer honey Barbara Shelley.

(courtesy Movie Forum.com)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/3/2002 //


Wednesday, October 02, 2002x


halloween link of the day


As I mentioned yesterday, I like to celebrate the Halloween season by watching a lot of horror movies during October. In that spirit, this guy has launched a mini-blog in which he'll provide a capsule review of one horror movie per day throughout the month--31 horror movies in 31 days. (Thus far: John Carpenter's underrated scare flick The Fog and Mario Bava's Baron Blood.)

Ryan's Web site also links to a movie review site that believes in brevity--20 words or less!

(via email from The Dodd)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/2/2002 //


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horror wallpaper of the day


the exorcist wallpaper
Today's horror movie desktop is from the classic 1973 horror flick The Exorcist (review by Roger Ebert, who doesn't see the need for a "director's cut"--and neither do I, and a DVD review at Attack of the 50 Foot DVD).

(courtesy Carfax Abbey)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/2/2002 //


Tusday, October 01, 2002x


zombie link of the day


As a public service during this Halloween season, I give you the home page of the makers of the Zombie Alert system. This revolutionary product promises an early warming of the presence of the living dead--an important asset given the sobering statistic that "Ninety-five percent of Americans live within two miles of a cemetery or mortuary." The company is so sure of its product it offers a million-dollar guarantee in the event of an undetected zombie assault. Models include the standard, resembling a home smoke detector, the industrial-size model capable of detecting ghouls up to a mile away, and a personal model encased within a wristwatch. A good shotgun and one of these, and you're set for any zombie siege!*

*Well, unless they're the indestructable Return of the Living Dead-type zombies. I hate those guys. Send more cops!

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/1/2002 //


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horror wallpaper of the day


the beyond wallpaper
It's the Halloween season, and to celebrate, I'm posting a new horror-themed desktop wallpaper each day. Today's entry is from the Lucio Fulci zombie nightmare The Beyond (reviews at Teleport City, The Bad Movie Report and The Vault).

My friends and I back in Louisville used to celebrate Halloween with an all-day and -night horror film marathon. Since living up here places obstacles to attending, I've taken to renting lots of horror flicks on cheap-video-rental Tuesdays and watching them, in additioon to the flicks I already own, on almost every weeknight. Tonight I'll be kicking off the month-long horror fest with my DVD of The Beyond. I haven't decided on a theme yet, but I think I'll devote this week's rentals to Giant Bug Flicks. Speaking of which, the B-Masters have recently done another of their roundtable reviews of enormous arachnid films.

(courtesy Dreadful Mirrorz)

posted by Gregory Harris on 10/1/2002 //