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Friday, December 30, 2011

The Muppets (With Alice Cooper and Vincent Price)

This holiday season The Muppets made their comeback in theaters. (By the way it's pretty awesome and makes me nostalgic for The Muppets.) Anyways back in the day The Muppet show was one of the biggest things to hit television back in the 1970s. Due to its popularity there was a never ending supply of celebrities who wanted to appear on the show. My personal favorite appearances were from Alice Cooper and Vincent Price. Today we are going to take a look at those episodes. Below is Part 1 from the Alice Cooper episode.



Yeah.... Weird things tend to happen when Alice is on The Muppets.....

Below are segments from the Vincent Price special. (Sadly the complete show isn't on youtube.)





Wasn't that just grand? If only we could combine the genius of Vincent Price and Alice Cooper and have them perform together with people dressed up in weird spider costumes.....wait....

Score!


-Horrorwood Doll

P.S. (You can own the episodes with Alice Cooper,Vincent Price, and Marty Feldman for the insane price of $35 on Amazon. A sad price considering I got mine for $1 at Goodwill. -_-)


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gifts for the Horror fan on your X-mas list (Vampires!)

The holidays are upon us, which means it's time to shop and bust your brains out over what to get that special someone on your Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus list. Each will be dedicated to a certain type of horror niche and should help you narrow down the search.


Is there no other popular monster in horror than the vampire. Face it even before the Twilight vampires dominated literature,film,comics, etc. It just seems that this horror classic will just never go out of style and why not after all vampires are not just the sexiest creature of the horror genre, but they are also the most fun.
 
 
For the Vampire Romantic
 
Nothing says I love you more than matching rings. If you are familiar with the show Buffy than you'll remember the Claddagh ring Angel gave to Buffy. Why not surprise your love one with a Claddagh ring of their very own or better yet get a set for the both of you.  Is the person on your list into cosmetics? Get them something from Villainess.With soaps and perfumes named blood and bathory, how can you refuse?  If that doesn't suit their taste perhaps you can find something at Black Pheonix Alchemy Lab. Are you and your sweetie far apart? Write them a letter with the Victoria Frances stationary set. Extra points if you can write a letter by quill. Of course there is no such thing as a vampire who doesn't drink vine....I mean wine. Check out the vampire vineyards and get yourself a bottle. I've been told that such a bottle is perfect for moonlight picnics in the park or cemetery. Depends on your preference. If you really want to splurge take a trip to Transylvania, the birthplace of the romantic vampire.


Average Price:$20
 
 
The Contemporary Vampire Fan
 
Nothing quite integrated vampires into pop culture quite like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Any pop culture vampire fan will enjoy having all eight witty seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD. If they are a fan of the currently popular True Blood then they'll definitely get a kick or bite out of these bottles of True Blood. Anime vampire fans would love to have the day time school uniform T-shirt based off the anime Vampire Knight or a copy of the Vampire Hunter D manga. If you have a fashionista on your list get them this darling pair of cameo earrings from the show The Vampire Diaries.Do you know someone who plays Magic: The Gathering? Perhaps, you can get them next years vampire theme event deck. If all else fails nothing says contemporary vampire like a pair of sunglasses that you can wear by night. Add a leather jacket for the coolness factor.
 
Average Price $100


For the Classic Vampire Fan

If the person on your shopping list is a fan of the more classic literate vampires than you can't go wrong with getting that person on your wish list the Barnes and Noble Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles hardback edition or Bram Stocker's Dracula in hardback. If it so happens that they've already read Dracula get them the excised section from the original known as Dracula's Guest. A cross necklace is a nice throwback to classic vampire lore. Bring some coziness into their home with a custom made coffin couch. Nothing says Christmas quite like coffins, especially when the coffin is topped with a bow. Anyone with a playful side will enjoy Edward Gorey's Dracula die cut toy theater. Dont worry, we won't judge you. If that doesn't suit their needs get them the 75th anniversary of Bela Lugosi's Dracula or better yet the Universal Studios Dracula collection.

Average Price: $15

For The Vampire Fan with a sense of humor

As of late vampire have become sort of a joke mostly due to a certain book that shall not be made. If the one on your list is a former vampire lover and currently just needs something to get them back in the vampire spirit or they just have a sense of humor then get them this marvelous vampire poster that will remind them of all the amazing things that we have learned from vampires. Only from this poster will you get pearls of wisdom such as "Immortality is no excuse not to floss". Is the person on your list a reader? Then they will enjoy the adventures of Dick and Jane in Dick and Jane and Vampires. Jokesters everywhere will enjoy this humorous T-shirt. To let your vampire fan to get in touch with their sensual side get them Vampire perfume. Oh yes now they too can smell like the undead. Greatly recommended by Maven of Evantide.Hunting vampires has never been easier then in this fun game known simply as Vampire. Yes you too can be like Buffy and Blade except without any weapons. Who needs guns and stakes when you have cloves of garlic? :D


Average Price: $20

Yep! Vampire genocide at its finest.

-Horrorwood Doll

Yeah, I know the holidays are over, but just roll with it.

Next:Werewolves

Saturday, December 24, 2011

How to Survive a Zombie Christmas



Those at Team Unicorn want to make sure that you'll be able to survive the holidays. So remember to trim the tree, wrap the presents, put the freshly made gingerzombies in the oven and be sure to lock and load everyone. :D

-Horrorwood Doll

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gifts for the Horror fan on your X-mas list (ZOMBIES!!!!)

The holidays are upon us, which means it's time to shop and bust your brains out over what to get that special someone on your Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus list. Each will be dedicated to a certain type of horror niche and should help you narrow down the search.

Zombies seem to be in vogue at the moment and there is just no limit on the zombie merchandise that is available to the masses. Of course you have to filter through all the strange and useless curiosities that are currently available on the market, but this list should help you find the right gift for your zombie loving amigo.


For the Survivalist!
For the more practical person on your list or the extra paranoid, you can't go wrong with The Zombie Survival Guide, Z-SAT, and The Zombie Combat Manual. You can also pair those books with a first aid kit, some MRE'S and a crowbar. Be sure to add a nice little ribbon to the crowbar to give it that extra holiday flare. You can also add this snazzy bag to this mix as well.Not only are you making your loved one happy, but you now have someone to run off with when the zombie Apocalypse happens. It's the gift that keeps on giving! ^_^

Average Price: $8.00

The Zombie Extremist Fan!

It seems odd, but some people are just hardcore zombie fans. It seems they've seen every zombie film, know every type of zombie, and have read all the zombie survival books. Any zombie fan would love The Last Night on Earth- zombie board game and if they already have that get them the expansion packs. The game is just like a zombie flick, but in you're living room. You'll have tons of fun fighting off the undead hoards with grandma. A great little book for your zombie fan is How to be a Zombie. This book is just so jammed pack with zombie goodies; including an extensive zombie film list and zombie music guide. You're zombie extremist is sure to be satisfied. If that's not good enough for them get them the How to Speak Zombie Guide or their very own garden zombie.


Average Price: $40.00
For Your Zombie Sweetheart!

Who ever said vampires were the most romantic creatures of the night never met a zombie. If you are shopping for zombie fanatic sweetie or zombie lover there is just no end to how you can show how much you care. These zombie chocolates are sure to please any chocoholic. Perhaps read to your love one the romantic words of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or write a poem using the zombie poetry kit. If your love one is familiar with Resident Evil get them these petunias that resemble the Umbrella Corp. logo.



Average Price: $9.99



The Trendy Zombie Fan

Zombies are very in right now so just about everyone is joining in on the fun. Get them the first season of The Walking Dead or better yet the graphic novel. Let them get in touch with their artsy side with this clever zombie poster or zombie coloring book. If they are the early undead type get them this flashy glow in the dark coffee mug. Nothing says flesh...I mean fresh like zombies, so get these zombie mints a try. They are sure to make excellent stocking stuffers, especially when the stocking still has a foot inside.

Average Price: $15.00


The Actual Zombie on your List!!!!!

Now this is a rare occurrence, but sometimes you'll fine that your loved one has become a zombie. You might feel that there now a bit of a gap between you and your undead counterpart, but never fear there are still things  you can get to keep that special person in your life content. Eating people is not always a picnic so your zombie chum will appreciate some hot sauce to make the raw flesh a bit more appetising. Being undead corpse and all means you are likely to stink. There is hope though, just get your zombie friend some air fresheners. These lei car air fresheners not only look stylish, but smell great too. If they are new to the zombie thing get them So Now You're a Zombie: The Handbook for the Newly Undead.

Average Price: $4.99
Next: Vampires

-Horrorwood Doll

Monday, October 17, 2011

The 13 Nights of Halloween:Scariest Places on Earth

Greetings. I know now is the season for horror and this is the time most horror blogs really like to strut their stuff. I have lifes little engagments along with other projects, that keep me from making this blog a priority. -sigh- maybe one day I'll have more time to focus on this little blog, but this is sadly not the time.


Well enough of my sorry excuses. Now, is the time reflect back on our most fond memories of our youth. If you were a child of the 90s/ early 2000s then you will remember Fox Family's 13 Nights of Halloween. For 13 nights, we had films and shows that were sure to frighten and excite young and old. During, the day many films and shows were shown that were for the whole family, but once night had come it was time for films and shows, that were made for a much older/braver audience.

These past few years, I've began to notice that the 13 Nights of Halloween are no longer, well horrorfying. Every single film show is family friendly and there is nothing for the more mature audience. The channel is now ABC Family (A Disney Owned Channel), so naturally you're just not going to get the frights that Fox Family used to dish out. Another reason why, we no longer have these shows is probably due to parent complaints. Don't parents know, that being freaked out by a scary movie/ show is a part of childhood. Goodness, as a child I was scared by many things, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

The show I missed most from 13 nights of Halloween line-up was a reality show called Scariest Places on Earth. In every episode they would dump a group of people in some of the most creepiest places in the world and have them wander around, while random things were rigged to spook the unwanted visitors. This was awesome and my favorite portion of the show was when the haunted history of each destination was talked about in detail.  Add, Linda Blair as the hostess and the voice of   Zelda Rubinstien from Poltrageist as the narrator and you had a show, that was sure to please any horror fan.


Now, keep in mind that quite a few of the things that happened in the showe were complete BS! There were times when things were fabricated and events were often staged. The show was just so darn entertaining, that you could not just resist. Being a small thing in the early 2000s, I often has a hard time getting to sleep after and episode. Hell, I still might have a hard time getting to sleep after an episode.

My personal favorite was the episode of Poveglia-The Italian Island of the Dead. For those who have seen the show, what was yours?



-Horrorwood Doll

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bizenghast: A Review

Bizenghast is a tale set in the fictional New England town with the same name. That tale focuses on the a mentally ill fifteen-year-old name Dinah. Her past is a tragic one due to the car crash that left her orphaned at a very young age. The girl is sent to live with her aunt who resides in a haunted house. The house was originally a hospital and then boarding school and a satanic coven. (Okay, I made the last part up, but what are the chances of a house once being two of the things that almost guarantee a haunted house.) It turns out that are protagonist Dinah can see ghosts, which causes her aunt to believe that her darling little niece suffers from schizophrenia.

One, bright and shinning day, Dinah and her extremely loyal friend Vincent decide to take a walk to search for trinkets of his hodge podge of a garden. They come across a mysterious mausoleum in the middle of the woods. Being teenagers in a horror comic, they decide to investigate the sketchy mausoleum. Dinah comes across plaque with Dinah's name on it that turns out to be some contract. For some odd reason Dinah signs it and binds herself to the contract that requires her to come to the mausoleum every night and free the ghosts. If she succeeds she will win her freedom and some unknown reward. If she fails she will die and linger inside the cursed mausoleum as a corpse.


For the longest time I've heard all kinds of things about the comic series Bizenghast and being a fan of its creator M. Alice Legrow, I found it was time to check the series out. The first volume pretty much follows the plot listed above and a few ghost encounters. Every night when Dinah and Vincent enter the mausoleum they much enter a special world that the ghost resides in and free them from that world and get them to enter the fate that waits for them in the afterlife. The strange ghostly worlds is where a great deal of the horror in the comic comes from. The horror in the comic is more psychological or eerie, instead of grotesque, but there is enough horrorific elements present in the comic to keep many horror fans content.

The art in the comic is well done for the most part and can even be quite stunning from time to time, but there does seem to be a few rushed and sloppy panels seen from time to time. Each chapter has a beautifully done tarot inspired chapter card, which almost makes the comic worth-a-look to just see each chapter card, alone. Each ghost world was captivating in its own right and was rich with detail. There is a wonderful range of detailed backgrounds and costumes.  The artist seemed to take quite a bit of time to make sure tha the comic had its own unique look and feel.


Now, after all that praise I feel that it is time to talk about the comics cons. The comics characters are one note and dull. The antagonist, Dinah seems to do nothing, but whine, which is fine with me in small amounts, but the amount of whinnying that the main character does is ridiculous. Vincent hardly exhibits any sort of personality and seems to only follow Dinah and get her to stop whinnying. The comic relief character introduced at the end of vol. 1 is neither funny or witty. The characters seem to be lifeless in the story that they're in, which makes it terribly hard for the reader to make any true connections with the characters themselves.

The plot in Bizenghast is interesting, but badly executed.  The creator seemed to take more time crafting and creating details for the story of Bizenghast rather then creating a solid narrative. The plot seems rushed during the first half of the tale and seems to slow to a crawl during the second half. This made it terribly hard for me to get through and spent time wishing that the creator had took the time to focus on the plot rather then all the pointless costume changes that was given to Dinnah.

By Vol. 2 I had almost decided to give up on Bizenghast and consider it poorly done comic, with pretty artwork. For some reason or another I decided to check out the third volume at my library and give the series one more chance. To my surprise there was a complete turn around in the quality of the comic. The artwork all though well done from the start, was now exquisitely done in every panel instead of the occasional sloppy panel seen in the last two volumes. The main character was now competent and three-dimensional. In fact all the characters in Bizenghast seemed to have zest and personality. Characters now had their own objectives, and were now able to tell a compelling story. As a reader I now cared about the fate of each character and now felt a bit tense when characters were put into dangerous situations. The comic relief character in Bizenghast was no longer needlessly random and was actually humorus. There were actually a few times that I found my self laughing out loud, while I was reading.  There seemed to be a complete turn around in the comics quality and all of a sudden I wanted to read on and find out what fate holds for the the characters of Bizenghast.

Even though I found the first two volumes of Bizenghast to be terribly boring and tedious, I was completely won over by the third volume. I can only hope that the quality of Bizenghast will continue to improve and not revert back to the quality seen in the first two volumes. Now, the comic is by no means a masterpiece by any means, but it's certainly worth a look and can most likely be found at your local library. There are eight volumes of Bizenghast in total, with the eighth due to be released this year.

-Horrorwood Doll

Check out the website:http://www.bizenghast.com/



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Velvet Ribbon




When I was little I heard the tale of The Velvet Ribbon in a children's horror book called "In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories" The tale was simple and short, but for some reason the tale was just so darn memorable. The story itself is eerie and depending on the version you hear/read it might give you a nightmare or two. I find it interesting that in each version of the story, the husbands interest in the velvet ribbon becomes an obsession. We never find out why the wife is headless and much to the husbands dismay his wife's past is ambiguous in nature. The ribbon could symbolize the woman's past and the man's inability or ability to come to terms with the fact that no matter her past will remain a mystery till she deems him worthy enough to reveal it to him.

Version 1: 

She was beautiful in a strange, mysterious way. Her hair and her deep bottomless eyes were as black as the velvet ribbon around her neck. He planned to marry her before the next full moon rose in the autumn sky.

On their wedding, he watched her walked towards him up the long aisle. She was dressed in a white gown, a white veil, and carried a bouquet of white flowers. Even her face was ivory white. But below it, around the ivory neck, was the black velvet ribbon. He remembered staring at that ribbon as the strains of the wedding march brought his bride nearer to him. He remembered the curious and shocked looks on the faces of the wedding guests. But then his eyes met hers, and he was drowning in their bottomless darkness.

He didn't think of the velvet ribbon during the rest of his wedding day. It was a joyous time, and if people thought his wife was a bit strange, they kept that to themselves. That night, when they were alone, he saw that the ribbon was still there, still circling her lovely neck.

"Don't you ever take that ribbon from around your neck?" he asked, hoping his question was a needless one.

You'll be sorry if I do," his wife answered, "so I won't."

Her answer disturbed him, but he did not question her further. There was plenty of time for her to change her ways.

Their life together fell into a pleasant pattern. They were happy, as most newly married couples are. He found her to be a perfect wife... well, nearly perfect. Although she had a great number of dresses and wore a different one every day, she never changed the black velvet ribbon. This ribbon began to be the test of their marriage. When he looked at her, his eyes would inevitably fall to her neck. When he kissed her, he could feel the ribbon tightening around his own throat.

"Won't you please take that ribbon from around your neck?" he asked her time and time again.

"You'll be sorry if I do, so I won't." This was always her answer. At first it teased him. Then it began to grate on his nerves. Now it was beginning to infuriate him.

"You'll be sorry if I do."

"You'll be sorry if I do."

One day he tried to pull the ribbon off after she had repeated her answer, like a mechanical doll. It wouldn't come loose from her neck. He realized then, for the first time, that the ribbon had no beginning and no end. It circled her neck like a band of steel. He had drawn back from her in disgust that day. Things weren't the same with them after that.

At the breakfast table, the black ribbon seemed to mock him as he drank his suddenly bitter coffee. In the afternoon, outisde, the ribbon made a funeral out of the sunlight. But it was at night when it bothered him the most. He knew he could live with it no longer.

"Either take that ribbon off, or I will," he said one night to his wife of only four weeks.

"You'll be sorry if I do, so I won't." She smiled at him, and then fell off to sleep.

But he did not sleep. He lay there, staring at the hated ribbon. He had meant what he said. If she would not take off the ribbon, he would.

As she lay sleeping and unsuspecting, he crept out of bed and over to her sewing box. He had seen a small, sharp scissors she kept there. It was thin enough, he knew, to slip between the velvet ribbon and her soft neck. Gripping the scissors in his trembling hands, he walked softly back to the bed. He came up to where she lay and stood over her. Her head was thrown back on the pillow, and her throat with the black velvet ribbon around it rose ever so slightly with her breathing.

He bent down, and with one swift movement, he forced the thin blade of the scissors under the ribbon. Then with a quick, triumphant snip, he severed the ribbon that had come between them.

The black velvet ribbon fell away from his wife's neck....her head rolled off the bed and landed on the floor with a thump. She was muttering, "You'll be sorry, you'll be sorry......."

 The Green Ribbon by Laura Freeman
 
Version 2:

by Ann McGovern 

Once there was a man who fell in love with a beautiful girl. And before
the next full moon rose in the sky, they were wed.
To please her husband, the young wife wore a different gown each night.
Sometimes she was dressed in yellow; other nights she wore red or blue
or white. And she always wore a black velvet ribbon around her slender
neck.
Day and night she wore that ribbon, and it was not long before her
husband's curiosity got the better of him.
"Why do you always wear that ribbon?" he asked.
She smiled a strange smile and said not a word.
At last her husband got angry. And one night he shouted at his bride.
"Take that ribbon off! I'm tired of looking at it."
You will be sorry if I do," she replied, "so I won't." Every morning at
breakfast, the husband ordered his wife to remove the black velvet
ribbon from around her neck. Every night at dinner he told her the same
thing.
But every morning at breakfast and every night at dinner, all his wife.
would say was, "You'll be sorry if I do. So I won't."
A week had passed. The husband no longer looked into his wife's eyes. He
could only stare at that black velvet ribbon around her neck.
One night as his wife lay sleeping, he tiptoed to her sewing basket. He
took out a pair of scissors.
Quickly and quietly, careful not to awaken her, he bent over his wife's
bed
and
SNIP! went the scissors, and the velvet ribbon fell to the floor
and
SNAP! off came her head. It rolled over the floor in the moonlight,
wailing tearfully:
"I...told...you...you'd...be...s-o-r-r-y!"


Version 3:

Yellow Ribbon

retold by S.E. Schlosser

Jane wore a yellow ribbon around her neck everyday. And I mean everyday, rain or shine, whether it matched her outfit or not. It annoyed her best friend Johnny after awhile. He was her next door neighbor and had known Jane since she was three. When he was young, he had barely noticed the yellow ribbon, but now they were in high school together, it bothered him.

“Why do you wear that yellow ribbon around your neck, Jane?” he’d ask her every day. But she wouldn’t tell him.

Still, in spite of this aggravation, Johnny thought she was cute. He asked her to the soda shoppe for an ice cream sundae. Then he asked her to watch him play in the football game. Then he started seeing her home. And come the spring, he asked her to the dance. Jane always said yes when he asked her out. And she always wore a yellow dress to match the ribbon around her neck.

It finally occurred to Johnny that he and Jane were going steady, and he still didn’t know why she wore the yellow ribbon around her neck. So he asked her about it yet again, and yet again she did not tell him. “Maybe someday I’ll tell you about it,” she’d reply. Someday! That answer annoyed Johnny, but he shrugged it off, because Jane was so cute and fun to be with.

Well, time flew past, as it has a habit of doing, and one day Johnny proposed to Jane and was accepted. They planned a big wedding, and Jane hinted that she might tell him about the yellow ribbon around her neck on their wedding day. But somehow, what with the preparations and his beautiful bride, and the lovely reception, Johnny never got around to asking Jane about it. And when he did remember, she got a bit teary-eyed, and said: “We are so happy together, what difference does it make?” And Johnny decided she was right.

Johnny and Jane raised a family of four, with the usual ups and downs, laughter and tears. When their golden anniversary rolled around, Johnny once again asked Jane about the yellow ribbon around her neck. It was the first time he’d brought it up since the week after their wedding. Whenever their children asked him about it, he’d always hushed them, and somehow none of the kids had dared ask their mother. Jane gave Johnny as sad look and said: “Johnny, you’ve waited this long. You can wait awhile longer.”

And Johnny agreed. It was not until Jane was on her death bed a year later that Johnny, seeing his last chance slip away, asked Jane one final time about the yellow ribbon she wore around her neck. She shook her head a bit at his persistence, and then said with a sad smile: “Okay Johnny, you can go ahead and untie it.”

With shaking hands, Johnny fumbled for the knot and untied the yellow ribbon around his wife’s neck.

And Jane’s head fell off.


Origins of the Tale


The origin of the tale is unknown, but many believe that the tale roots back to the French Revolution. The events and occurrences of the French Revolution are in fact nightmarish in their own right. After the "Reign of Terror" it became fashionable for the youth who had lost a personal family member to revolution to throw macabre soirees known as 'Les bals des victimes', or 'The victims’ balls'. It was at these parties where a series of strange and rebellious fashions began to make a scene. Women and men both cut their hair in the style of  cheveux à la titus, a style used to commemorate the same cut that was given to the victims of the guillotine. This short hairstyle for men became terribly fashionable throughout Europe and really started the trend for men to have short hair.(The French Reveloution is responsible for quite a few of our modern day fashions, like pants.) The women had their own special fashion, red ribbons were worn across the upper back of dresses and most importantly women began to wear red ribbons around their neck to symbolize where the blade of the guillotine had cut the victims of the "Reign of Tower".

Perhaps, it was during this time period that the tale of "The Velvet Ribbon" was formed, but untill I can find solid information I can't really say for sure. All, that I know for a fact is that the tale will live on and many more versions will be seen in the future. 



Sources:

http://www.blastmilk.com/decollete/guillotine/victims-ball.php

http://www.thevictimsball.com/TVB_Main.html

Image #1:http://www.paintingall.com/Italian-Genre-Portrait-Painter-Giovanni-Boldini-Princess-Catherine-Radziwill-with-a-red-ribbon-around-her-neck-Oil-Painting.html
 
-Horrorwood Doll

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Cat With Hands

More posts soon to come, but today we share with you a most errie short film called The Cat With Hands.


You can purchase this film along with other short films via:http://www.robertmorganfilms.com/#/dvd/4551229943

-Horrorwood Doll

(P.S Have fun with the nightmare fuel. I'm sure someone will develop a fear of cats from this film.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Black Sunday:A review



Black Sunday also known as The Devil's Mask,Revenge of the Vampire Woman,House of Fright, and Mask of the Demon is an Italian horror film directed by Mario Bava  and was the film debut  of the beautiful Barbara Steele. There is much that can be said about this 1960 film, but luckily there are more positive things that can be said about it rather than negative. 

The first three to four minutes of the film are without a doubt one of the greatest openings in classic horror or for horror films in general. In a dark moonlight grove we see a group of hooded men surrounding  a beautiful woman who has been tied to a stake. We soon find out that this woman is Princess Asa who has been accused of witch craft and has been condemned by her brother to wear the spike-lined devil's mask, bringing her death, but before her fateful end she receipts a curse that lets her killers know that she will return one day and she will have her revenge. Two-hundred years later (1860) Princess Asa's body is disturbed by the descendants of her brother and is accidentally brought back to life. Thus, the plot of the witch's revenge is set in motion.



One of the strongest aspects of the film is without a doubt the cinematography.  I'll be honest when it comes horror films and their over all look it just does not get better than this. Mario Bava was not afraid to use sweeping camera angles and moody settings in Black Sunday. In fact much of his camera work went on to inspire other filmmakers.For example Francis Ford Coppola recreated many scenes from Black Sunday in his 1992 film Dracula. Tim Burton also took a great deal of inspiration from the film when it came to his film Sleepy Hallow. One of my favorite camera angles in the film is when we go into first person mode and see the terror through the victims eyes.

The music is another thing that can be praised about this film. Unlike most horror films where the music seems to blend in the background, the music in Black Sunday  seems to be a driving force in the film. Now, mind you there is no memorable theme song that you'd see in Psycho or Rosemary's Baby,but you'll be sure to enjoy it when it is present and might even remember certain scenes just because of how well the music adds to the film.

There is a very limited amount of gore shown within in the film, but the little bit of blood that is present was considered to be terribly radical in 1960. When the film was first released it was banned in the United Kingdom due to the gruesome opening scene where the witch is killed by a spiked mask. In all honesty the most violence you see in this film are at the very beginning and the rest of the film is pretty tame when it comes to any action present.


Plot-wise the film seems to suffer a bit, there is nothing that really stands out. In Black Sunday you have your standard 1930/40s horror fair such as a cursed supernatural that is after the damsel in distress, which the hero of the tale tries to save, but he fails so it's up to the angry mob with torches and pitchforks to save the day. The plot is not bad it was just terribly cliche by the time it came out.

 Never send a man to a mob's job.


The acting is another drawback in the film. No one is exactly terrible, but no one is exactly good. Everyone's performances is just so-so and the only person in the film who even slightly stands out from the rest of the cast is Barbara Steel and that mostly due to her unique fascicle expressions. Throughout most of the film she either plays an evil madwoman or a feeble frightened female. It was reported that while shooting the actors never saw a completed script. Barbara Steele states "We were given the pages day to day. We had hardly any idea what was going down on that film. We had no idea of the end, or the beginning, either, not at all."  This would of course make it terribly difficult for the actors in the film to really get into their roles.



This film is an absolute must for any horror film fan, especially for those who enjoy classic 1930s/1940s horror. It is a foreign Italian film, so you can either watch it in Italian or dubbed English. The dubbed version is a bit odd in some aspects, but the voices with the lip movements seem natural and even not noticeable in some scenes. I think even a few contemporary horror fans might be able to enjoy this film due to its rich cinematography. The first three to four minutes of the film is a must for anyone who appreciates cinema. You can watch the film for free on YouTube.



Film:

Rated: Not Rated (By modern standards it's probably around a PG.)

Time: 87 Minutes

Film Type: Silver Scream,


-Horrorwood Doll


Friday, August 5, 2011

Fashion Advice from the Vampires of True Blood

True Blood is an odd little show and I'm still having a hard time trying to describe what it is exactly. It seems to be half soap-opera with fangs and half something I have yet to really describe. Lets put it this way the show is an experience. A delightful little experience that is extremly fashion forward, by the way. Yeah, for a show that is known for everyone being half-naked the show really seems to take the time to make sure their actressess and actors are exceptionally dressed. While other girls might look to other shows like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, Etc., the rest know that the most fabulous fashions can be found True Blood.


You will notice that there is quite a bit of variety in how the characters dress. Even though the show features vampires, their attire is not restricted to black. One moment you'll see a character decked out in a skimpy black number and then next you'll see them in some pastel colored frock.

Edit: Check out what True Blood's costume designer has to say about the costumes of True Blood.


Here, we get some fashion tips from two of our favorite vamps on True Blood, Jessica and Pam.

Ah, how can you not love Pam. She is the only vampire who would tell an ancient mthological beast that it owes her a new pair of pumps.



Here is Jessica giving advice to all the vamps out there on how you can not appear undead.




You can now be just as fashionable as our undead gals with Tarte's True Blood makeup collection. Check out the site and you'll find tips on how you can capture the same look as some of your favorite characters along with entering a contest where you can win the complete collection, True Blood seasons 1 & 2 and a Glamour Me t-shirt.


-Horrorwood Doll




Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Tattoo Art of Tye Harris



For those of you where were left waiting with the last posting about horror themed tattoos I made several months ago in which I said that I would post about the tattoo work of various artists, I do apologize for the long delay.  
Surely, we all know that life happens.
That said: One of those happenings in my life just so happened to be the Ink Life Tour; a tattoo and music convention that passed through my city about a week and a half ago.
While I was there, I got a chance to look at portfolios of the artists who were invited to be a part of the tour. Naturally, the one that caught my attention the most was Tye Harris.
For those of you that pick up tattoo magazines, you may have heard about him in issue 26 of Tattoo Society, and a recent publication of International Tattoo Art.
Tye hails from Texas, and he specializes in black and grey realism and portrait tattoos. His portfolio something to me admired, but  I’ll let the art speak for itself:
Tye has been tattooing since 2006, and though he’s listed on Facebook as a self-employed artist, he has worked in No Surrender Studios, in San Marcos, Texas; been featured as a guest artist for shops such as Illuminati tattoo in Huston, Texas, and Electric Soul Tattoo in Lancaster, California. Needless to say, the guy travels around quite a bit in his job, and Ink Life is not the only tattoo convention he’s been a part of.
He has more than 35 tattoo awards going for him, most of them ranking in first place.
If you would like to see more of Tye’s portfolio, or would like to get tattooed by him, you can follow the link at the bottom of this post to his facebook page. There you can view his portfolio, and/or send him a message if you would like to get tattooed by this very talented and very friendly man.
(Yes, I did get tattooed by him at ink life.  He is quite the friendly guy, and we had fun and interesting conversation.  And no, my tattoo is not posted here, as it’s not related to horror.)
But, before I depart, I leave you with a video I found on youtube of Tye’s tattoo work in action (the facebook link is right below the video):


Link to Tye Harris’s facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000367142874&sk=info

-Bombshell hell- 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Monster High at Comic Con

As you all know Comic Con has come and gone and with it new Monster High Dolls were revealed. For the special event a special Ghoulia doll dressed as her favorite superhero Dead Fast was released.To my knowledge she was only available at Comic Con much like the special black and white Frankie doll from last year. If you want to get a hold of this darling you'll probably have to find her online. It is great to know that the Monster High dolls have seem to find a niche in the nerd scene and have since grown in popularity. When the Monster High dolls first came out I thought they would be a coming and passing fad that would surly never catch on. A line of dolls based off classic horror monsters was surly a ludicrous idea.
After all most little girls have little to no interest in anything that is ooky or spooky in nature, but here we are a whole year later with the line becoming more popular than ever. Who knows how long these line of dolls will last, but all I know that even though I'm past the age of actually playing with such fanciful things I'm quite glad they are around. For all I know these dolls have created an increase interest in classic horror films with the youth of today and that I am grateful for. As for the dolls themselves, I've never seen such diversity in appearance in a line of dolls, with defining personalities and quirks. It might go without saying, but these are certainly not just your average fashion doll. We no longer have a line of dolls that are completely cookie cutter perfect , but have a line of dolls that are cooky or quirky in nature and  let girls go know it's okay to be a little strange because deep down we all are.Hopefully we'll see these dolls for many years to come, perhaps to the time when I have children of my very own or nieces, etc.



A nice little animated short for the event.

During Comic Con we saw the revelation to two new dolls that will be seen store shelves in the near future. Toralei Stripe is the daughter of the werecats (a reference to Val Lewton's Cat People perhaps?) Her name stems from the Tora, which is Tiger in Japanese. The next doll we have that is due to be out is Nefera de Nile the daughter of the mummy and sister of Cleo de Nile. Not much to say on the doll about the doll herself except I can't help notice the violet eyes they gave her that are strikingly similar to that of the late Elizabeth Taylor. (Note: The most well known portrayal of Cleopatra was done by Elizabeth Taylor who had violet colored eyes.)
(Left) Toralei  (Right) Nefera

Along with the two dolls fans had a chance to vote from one of three dolls presented to become one of the news dolls for the 2012 series.

Daughter of Arachne
This is without a doubt the most daring doll  Mattel has ever done. The doll is without a doubt creative, but is actually one of the first dolls that could actually be classified as scary in the Monster High Series. I have no doubt that many younger children would be a tad bit afraid of this doll. After all arachnephobia is one of the most common fears. The doll would be more suited for collectors rather than an actual play toy for children.
Scarah Screams
Out of all the dolls shown Scarah was the one that got my vote. She might not be all that interesting appearance  wise, but she is the most stable out of the three dolls. I'm curious to see what her origin will be. Daughter of the Banshee, perhaps?
Headless Headmistress Blood Good
I'm a fan of Washington Irving's tale Sleepy Hallow, so I've always had a soft spot for the Headless Mistress in the cartoons. I can't see her being a big hit with children and parents. It's hard enough keeping a doll in one piece and with a doll that looses her head around a child, disaster is sure to happen. Her head must be attached by magnets, but even then she is better off as a limited collectors piece.























Along with new dolls new fashions are on the way. To continue with the Deadication series we have attire for Clawdeens business class and the most adorable outfit for Draculaura's school newspaper.
-Horrorwood Doll

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Anne Rice: The Queen of Vampire Literature is back!

 Anne's New Werewolf Novel

Anne Rice the most renown writer of vampire and supernatural literature and is making her comeback with werewolf fiction. Mrs. Rice has just recently announced about her new werewolf novel " The Wolf Gift" at San Diego Comic Con.

It's about a young man who becomes a werewolf. It's my take on what that experience is like for that young man, to experience that transformation and how it works in his life and how he copes with it."- Anne Rice

To watch the actual interview please go to this link.

I don't think many will be against Mrs. Rice going back to her horror roots; for a time she denounced her vampire novels, but it seems she is ready to come back to writing supernatural writings. Anne Rice is one of the most important and influential writers for vampire fiction, right after Bram Stoker, so it'll be interesting to see what she can do for werewolf literature.

Anne at Comic Con

Hey, guys look its some videos of Anne Rice at Comic Con doing a signing  for the graphic novelization of her book Servant of the Bones.




It's just so wonderful to see Anne Rice back in the swing of things and in such a jubilant mood. I really hope to see Anne Rice at more conventions and might I say that the woman looks spectacular for a woman who is close to the age of 70. -sigh- FYI I am forever envious of anyone who had a chance to go to Comic Con in San Diego.

Interview with the Vampire Graphic Novel

Those who are fans of The Vampire Chronicles will be pleased to know that a graphic novelization of Anne Rice's most famous work Interview with the Vampire. The graphic novel is set to be released in the fall of 2012 (-cough- -cough- A perfect present for ones 21st birthday.) and will be told from the point of view Claudia, the vampire child. Ashley Marie Witter will be responsible for illustrating the story. Mr. Rice had this to say on the current artwork of the story."I am looking at the drawings, they have such wonderful detail in the costumes, and in my work costumes are almost like a character," said Rice. "They are part of the work, and they got that. What I look for in a movie or a book like this is the essence—baroque detail, sensuality, luxurious hair, faces that are intriguing and deep—and they got it here."

You can learn a bit more on the upcoming graphic novel here. 

I'm personally ecstatic about Rice writing another supernatural novel and I can't help, but jump for fangirl joy when I found that there will be a graphic novel done on one of my favorite pieces of literature. I adore the artwork that I've seen so far and I love that that Claudia will be the narrator of this piece.

What do you all think?


-Horrorwood Doll

The Dark Tales of Harry Potter: The Three Brothers/ The Warlocks Hairy Heart


Harry Potter has become a well beloved series for many, J.K Rowling has certainly proven herself to be an excellent writer. You can say that the appeal of Harry Potter steams from the well developed characters, the much detailed plot, but I think the reason why the series has become so beloved is because of the world J.K. Rowling created for her Harry Potter series. The author did not just create a memorable story, she created an entire world that has become as well known as the story itself.

J.K Rowling added to the world of Harry Potter when she created a series of fables/fairy tales for her wizards. The Tales of Bettle the Bard is a collection of Grimmsesque tales that range from whimsical and sweet to dark and foreboding. Many fairy tales have an element of horror and Miss Rowling did not leave this one element out when creating her series of fairy tales. Today, I'm going to share with you all two tales from The realm of Beetle the Bard that surly make your blood cold and will perhaps leaving you wanting more.

THE THREE BROTHERS



I'm sure the majority of you are aware of the tale of The Three Brothers, since the tale makes its appearance in the Harry Potter film Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1. There is not much I can say about the story itself, the tale obviously has to do with the fear death and how greed leads to ones very own destruction.


An interesting observation I saw in the comment section of this video, which I later found out is a theory among Harry Potter fans. Three characters in the books are believed to represent the three brothers in the story.

Voldemort :: The one who died for power.
Snape (Some say Albus Dumbledore) :: The one who died for lost love.
Harry Potter :: The one that greeted Death like an old friend.

THE WARLOCK'S HAIRY HEART


A young Warlock was embarrassed to see his friends falling in love and considered the act foolish and weak. He decided that he never wanted to fall victim to love, and secretly used Dark magic to cut out his heart.
He lived on, seeming content with his lack of emotion, not even mourning when his parents passed away. After their deaths, he moved into their home and transferred his heart, his "greatest treasure," to the dungeon. Believing in the perfection of his solitude, he was shocked to overhear one of his servants pitying him, and another thinking it funny he didn't have a wife. He decided he would go out and find the most beautiful, talented, wealthy and all-around enviable young woman to be his bride.
The very next day, the young Warlock had the fortune of meeting the perfect woman. He began pursuing her, convincing all of his friends that he had changed. She was both "fascinated and repelled" by him, and agreed to attend a feast at his home. While at the feast, the maiden asked the Warlock for proof that he had a heart. He took her down into the dungeon and showed her the magic crystal casket that held his beating heart. The woman was horrified at the sight of it, as it had grown hairy and shrunken as a result of it's separation from the Warlock's body. She begged him to replace the heart within himself, so he sliced his chest open with his wand and placed his heart back into his chest. As the woman embraced him, his heart, which had grown blind and perverse, took savage action against the young woman and killed her.
When the rest of the guests went looking for the Warlock, they found him in the dungeon, crouched over maiden's lifeless body, caressing her heart. He attempted to take her heart for his own, but his heart was too strong and would not leave his body. Determined never to be mastered by his heart again, he cut it out of his chest, and fell over the maiden's body, dead.
Unlike the tale of The Three Brothers there is no bittersweet ending to this story. The story has to deal with love of course and what happens to those who have no love or kindness within their heart and how those without one become animalistic in nature. In the wizarding world when someone is referred to having a "hairy heart" it means that the person is unfeeling.

Read more tales from The Bettle the Bard by purchasing the book here.

-Horrorwood Doll.


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